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Zimbabwe’s electricity utility continues to frustrate workers

4 October, 2012Whilst progress has been slow, suspended workers are being reinstated through the efforts of the Zimbabwe Electricity Workers Union (ZEWU).

So far hearings have been held for 58 of the 135 workers suspended on 17 July by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA).  55 workers have been re-instated with pay and 3 dismissed.

Through ZEWU’s efforts, all but 2 of the remaining workers have returned to work pending the outcome of their hearings due to take place over the next 2 weeks.  This has been a psychological victory for workers, boosting morale after more than two months of no work or pay.

The two remaining suspended works are ZEWU’s President, Angeline Chitambo, who is also an executive committee member of IndustriALL Global Union and National Executive Committee member Dennis Makote.  They face different charges than those of other workers that were suspended.

ZEWU is concerned that their leaders will not have a fair hearing and are opposed to proposed terms of a one year gag order that will affect their ability to represent workers.

ZEWU  continues to do battle with ZESA over their suspension as well as defending the 3 workers that have been dismissed.

ZEWU also has been preparing the arbitration award granting a 30 per cent wage increase that is been challenged by ZESA by the high court.

At a meeting of IndustriALL Southern Africa Energy Network held recently in Johannesburg, the union leaders resolved to continue with solidarity support to ZEWU through regional and international efforts.