Cold Storage workers ready for battle


Cold Storage Company workers who have been given notice that they are to be retrenched with effect from 1 February to pave way for the company that took over CSC operations, Boustead Beef Zimbabwe, to revive the parastatal are demanding that their present salaries be regarded as being in United States dollars and should be converted to Zimbabwe dollars at the current interbank rate.

A Grade 2 worker earning $207 should, therefore, be earning $3 519.

More than 140 workers were given notice that they are to be retrenched and their package will be based on their current salaries which have not been reviewed for years.

They will be paid two weeks wages for every year worked plus their annual leave.

The workers are demanding that they should be paid six weeks wages for every year worked and want their exit package to be paid once off as a lumpsum.

They are also demanding that the company relocate them and pay them their 2019 bonus.

A meeting between the workers and representatives of Boustead Beef on Thursday failed to resolve the issue and was postponed to tomorrow.

It is not clear who is retrenching the workers, that is, whether it is the government through the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture, the Cold Storage Company, or Boustead Beef Zimbabwe which took over the CSC last year.

Boustead Beef, which claimed to be a British company when it took over the CSC, was supposed to start operations in September but instead shut down operations for four months claiming it was re-tooling but is now retrenching workers.

Hellen Sibanda who represented Boustead said the retrenchment was the final stage before resuscitating the parastatal which was once Zimbabwe’s largest beef processor.

She said Boustead had been given the green light to retrench the workers by the government but refused to give workers the agreement between the government and Boustead Beef saying they should get it from the government.

The workers decided not to press the issue for progress sake and were asked to table their proposals for exit.

Other proposals that they want are that they should be paid cash for overtime or time off. They should be paid a cost of living allowance for February and ranch employees should be given maize meal rations, 3kg meat, 2 bars soap, 5kg mahewu and 750 ml paraffin.

Under the current package some of the employees who have worked for the company for more than 40 years will be paid a package not exceeding the equivalent of US$300.

The same workers will walk away with the equivalent of about US$12 000 under the package proposed by the workers.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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