About 1,400 workers at the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company or Ziscosteel will be retrenched starting Tuesday though employees say they have not yet been informed about the pending job terminations.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament last Thursday that the Ziscosteel workers are now a burden to the company as they are expected to get salaries yet there is no production at the ironworks in Redcliff.
Benedict Moyo of the Ziscosteel Workers’ Council told VOA Studio 7 employees are shocked that they will be retrenched Tuesday.
“We were never informed, that is, officially from the company HR (human resources) that we will be retrenched. We heard it from TV and radio. As we speak right now we are all at work.”
Moyo said workers are owed a combined $100 million as the company has in the past five years been paying each employee an allowance of between $20 and $50 after selling scrap metal and other items.
There was no comment from Labour Minister Prisca Mupfumira. In 2011, government signed a $750 million deal with Indian firm Essar Africa Holdings in which the foreign investor agreed to take over and resume operations of the defunct Ziscosteel.
Indications are that the deal has collapsed.