BULAWAYO, April 13 (The Source) – Diversified Bulawayo group, Treger Products, has reduced the number of working days to two weeks a month at subsidiary, Zimbabwe Grain Bag (ZGB) as challenges affecting the textile industry continue unabated.
ZGB is a partnership of Treger Products Private Limited and Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ).
Treger has other four manufacturing divisions – Monarch Steel, Kango Products, Treger Plastics and Treger Harare.
Group corporate affairs executive, Ticha Garabga told The Source that the group was given permission by the labour ministry to reduce working time to help ZGB remain afloat but refused to give details.
However, according to workers, the group successfully applied for a two weeks in and two weeks out arrangement.
“You have to appreciate that ZGB is in the textile industry which is currently struggling. But we successfully applied for a short-time work to keep afloat and avoid massive retrenchments,” said Garabga.
He said the group had resorted to using contract employees as full-time workers were ‘very expensive.’
Last year group marketing director Thoko Ndlovu told The Source that the group’s products were performing poorly because of the tight liquidity in the economy, forcing the group to focus on outside markets.
She said the group’s subsidiaries were operating at an average 70 percent of capacity utilisation after acquiring new machinery from China and Italy to boost production of poly pipes and plastics.
Treger Products is part of the privately owned Treger Group of companies. It has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1911.
Ndlovu said the group employs about 3,800 workers.
Bulawayo used to be a major textile centre with many companies, but most of them have either scaled down or closed shop due to an influx of cheap fabrics from outside the country.
Some of the companies that closed down include True Value, Label Fashion, Suntosha Leisure Wear, Lancaster, Harren Manufacturing, Ascot, Belmor Fashions, Cinderella and Rusglen Fashions.