TellZim News reporter
Freedom Madungwe, the president of Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Workers Union (ZISMWU) has blasted the union's former Secretary General Addmore Hwarare, for interfering in the affairs of the union and scuttling Tongaat Hullet workers' quest for higher pay.
Speaking at a meeting to discuss workers wages held at Chishamiso Stadium on Sunday, Madungwe said Addmore Hwarare is to blame for the workers' failure to bargain for higher pay due to his interference with ZISMWU.
Madungwe mentioned fliers that circulated in Chiredzi inviting workers to attend the May Day if they wanted their pay rise.
The fliers reportedly referred to Hwarare as Secretary General of the union although he no longer occupies that position.
Lately a rival union called Sugar Production Milling Workers of Zimbabwe has been formed, increasing the discord in the sugar plantations' labour force.
Madungwe told Tongaat employees that they had since applied to the National Employment Council (NEC) for the sugar milling industry to sit at the collective bargaining platform as was agreed last year following a protracted strike.
The strike ended after workers settled for only a $10 wage increase following agreements that Tongaat will then enter the collective bargaining process.
"We have since applied for collective bargaining with the National Employment Council as per the agreement we made last year when the company offered to give us an increase of $10 before we sit for a collective bargain. The NEC Secretary General has now responded saying we cannot sit for a collective bargain since Hwarare has since applied for the same proceedings," said Madungwe
Madungwe also said he wrote another letter to NEC addressing Hwarare as somebody who has nothing to do with ZISMWU since he had already resigned as ZISMWU the secretary general's post.
"We have written another letter to NEC and we have clearly indicated that Hwarare has resigned as the Secretary General …even the company (Tongaat) knows that Hwarare resigned long ago, they have the papers but they are only playing hide and seek with us," Madungwe said.
Meanwhile some employees who spoke at the occasion said that it was high time Tongaat negotiated with ZISMWU lest workers get more frustrated and resort to collective job action.news