Electricity blackouts loom as ZESA workers head for strike

Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE Energy Supply Authority (ZESA) chief executive officer, Sydney Gata has been petitioned by the utility’s workers over the current poor salaries in a development which could trigger another strike in the energy sector if timely interventions are not implemented.

A letter written by the Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union secretary general, Martin Chikuni to the ZESA boss seen by The Humanitarian Post said workers were incapacitated.

“We are writing to you esteemed office to officially notify you that our members no longer have the capacity to report for duty as expected. It is no secret that their incapacitation has been caused by unbearable economic conditions they are faced with.

“The situation has been exacerbated by the following, failure by the employer, using their no mandate slogan, to finalise the 2021 Collective Bargaining negotiations. Please note that this No mandate stance has created disharmony between the unions and their constituencies as members feel that unions are somehow benefitting from the many fruitless so called bargaining meetings,” he said.

Chikuni also told our publication that currently the least paid worker is earning $14 000 basic salaries plus allowances of 60% on the salary .

The union leader argued that Funeral Assurance companies have raised their premiums by over 200%, medical insurance premiums by 300%, the recent and non-stoppable price hikes of basic commodities.

He said other costs like rentals, fuel, school fees and other expenses demand payment in foreign currency whose rate are skyrocketing on the parallel market.

“From the above, it is clear that without a salary review , your employees remain totally incapacitated to fend for their families and will be left with no choice but to report for duty inconsistency until this matter is resolved .

“ It is evident that our constituency has been patient with the employer , who in turn has mistaken their patience for a weakness.

“We as a union believe that ZESA employees ,whose obligation is to diligently power Zimbabwe, deserve better and we hope that management realizes this sooner than later,” he said.

He called  upon Gata’s esteemed office to intervene and effect an immediate improvement to the workers’ salaries so that workers will report for duty, meet their family responsibilities and continue powering the nation into the future.

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