Meikles retrenches, 77pct of Bulawayo staff affected

Meikles retrenches, 77pct of Bulawayo staff affected

BULAWAYO, March 20 (The Source) – Hospitality and retail group Meikles Limited has embarked on a retrenchment exercise targeting to offload more than 100 employees countrywide, workers representatives said on Friday.

The employees told The Source on Friday that they had been served with termination letters, while at work.

“I don’t even know what this letter means because we did not discuss or agree on anything and today I get chased of a place where I have been working for over 10 years,” said one of the workers who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Workers representatives said Meikles Bulawayo had retrenched 33 workers of its 43 member-staff, including two managers.

The branch workers committee chairperson, Victor Takaruva said management had informed workers of an ongoing retrenchment exercise and that up 100 employees would be affected countrywide.

He said the management gave them options of mutual separation, voluntary retrenchment or compulsory release.

“We are surprised that today when they told us we should go home, just like that,” he said.

According to one letter of termination seen by The Source, the affected workers would be paid three months salary in lieu of notice.

It said they would also receive a monetary token of appreciation of service and cash in lieu of leave.

However, the workers said there were many outstanding issues not addressed in the letter.

“They owe us arrears on a 10 percent salary increment awarded to us in 2012 of which they only effected a 2,5 percent  adjustment and the matter is before the courts. Their letter does not acknowledge such things,” said Takaruva.

“They have also given all of us flat amounts disregarding years of service, which is rather surprising.”

The employees say the management wanted to get rid full time staff and rely instead on contractors.

Meikles Limited chairman, John Moxon could not be reached for comment as he was said to be out of the country for two weeks while other officials were unavailable for comment.