By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – Tongaat Hullet Limited Zimbabwe is set to retrench 500 employees and the workers at the Lowveld sugarcane-growing giant are saying they should retrench senior employees who are the ones who are benefiting from the company as they are earning a lot of money and getting more allowances.
The employees are against the move that the company wants to take.
5 000 workers in Southern Africa are to lose their jobs and 500 will lose jobs in Zimbabwe as announced by Tongaat.
The firm has other sugarcane companies in Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia.
The secretary-general for Zimbabwe Sugarcane and Milling Workers Union (ZSMWU) Captain Faster Gono (Rtd) said the employees are against the criteria they want to use in the retrenchment process and were not against the idea of them being retrenched.
Employees who are willing to take the offer of voluntary termination of work will get a fixed package.
This is being done to reduce the wage bill to manageable levels and the workers have been given up to this week.
The perks include 12 months medical aid cover and access to company health facilities, gratuity equivalent to two weeks pay for every year served, retirement bonus 4/30 of total monthly earnings multiplied by service, six months severance pay based on current basic salary, plus the cost of living adjustment.
The workers shall also get $8 000 relocation allowance each. They will also get payment of nominal benefits such as salary in lieu of notice and payment of pension benefits in terms of relevant fund rules.
“Our members are not complying to this and they are saying they will not take up this offer as we feel top managers are the ones who deserve to be retrenched.
Shop floor workers do not get a lot of money, yet the salary and other benefits of a single manager are equivalent to the salaries of not less than 100 workers.
We are saying they are the ones who should be retrenched, as they are given more money which increases the company’s expenses.
He added that the unnecessarily created new positions at managerial level are the posts that exhausted the company and rather than correcting that they want to take advantage of those not to blame.
“Since 2000, there has been too much duplication at the top, new positions have been created and for instance, there is a human resources manager and a human resources executive manager. Is that really necessary? Two people doing the same job by trying to just different names and creating posts for them.
In the managerial you find four managers and they are taking advantage of the mass and benefiting at their expense and that is uncalled for hence the resistance to retrenchment, he said.