Below is an update on issues within companies that are within the ZEWU scope of coverage as of 28 February 2017;
Zimbabwe Energy Industry Companies
The 2014 Bargaining Dispute was referred for conciliation and is awaiting set down at the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services.
The General Council has delegated the NEC Bargaining Committee to kick start the 2015 and 2016 negotiations so as to clear the way for the 2017 bargaining.
The 2012 CBA Dispute is before the High Court after as labour we had applied to the High Court for the statutory appointment of an arbitrator to preside over the quantification of the 2012 CBA.
We have challenged the unilateral redeployments of staff by ZETDC mainly Northern Region as well as the variation of overtime payment. The matter has been partly heard at conciliation and we are hopeful of a positive resolution soon.
Excess Hours dispute relating to ZPC- after the arbitrator had dismissed our claim, we filed an Application for Review as well as an appeal before the Labour Court. The Application for Review has been heard before Justice Lilian Hove of the Labour Court and we await the decision as judgment was reserved. The Appeal will depend on whether or not the Application for a Review is granted. If the Review is granted then the matter will be remitted to another arbitrator on the merits. If the Review is dismissed then the Appeal will be set down.
ZPC Kariba Housing Dispute – the case was remitted to another arbitrator after ZPC had applied for a Review citing that the arbitrator who had awarded in our favour had disregarded the preliminary issues raised at arbitration. We have since attended pre-arbitration proceedings before the new Independent arbitrator, Honourable Mangwengwende and agreed on specific time frames.
Measures to avoid retrenchments- Powertel and ZENT – the Managements at the two respective companies wrote to their respective Workers’ Committees intending to reduce the work cycle to four days per week with corresponding reductions in salaries. We challenged the procedure adopted by the Managements and tabled the matter before the NEC. The NEC has since barred any proceedings on the subject, ruling that the Works Councils have no mandate to dabble with the matter as it falls under the NEC purview.
ZPC Kariba Skilled Workers’ grading grievance is being dealt with at Head Office with the next level being to get feedback from the Management failure of which the matter will be referred to the NEC for the due process of conciliation and/ or determination.
Fixed term contracts of employment – the matter is now before the Ministry of Public Service , Labour and Social Services after the NEC could not come up with an agreement on the qualifying duration for one to be considered as permanent. As labour we insist that the period of 36 months should consider past service whilst the employers want the agreement to take effect from the date of signing meaning ignoring the past service component.
Petrozimline Code of Conduct – the finalization of the PZL Code of Conduct has been stalled by the dispute relating to composition of the Disciplinary and Appeals Committees with the Management arguing that there should be no trade union representative on the two committees and us insisting that we cannot worsen a condition that the employees already enjoy under the current dispensation of the green book.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority Code of Conduct finalized, also awaiting adoption by the Works Council before registration with the Ministry. The Works Council is currently engaged in negotiations for 2016/17.
The case as to whether ZERA should fall under the NEC Energy Industry or not is now ready for a set down. We hope for a favourable outcome soon.
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA)
A number of issues continue to be pursued by the union. The latest is with regard to proceedings at the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare where the conciliation process concerning ; non- provision of suitable safety clothing and equipment, 2014 bonus payments, salary back logs (10 months as of February 2017), job evaluation appeals and unhygienic tin huts were tabled. Management then agreed with the Workers’ Committee at the Works Council on 2 November 2016, on specific time frames by which they would have implemented the areas of the agreement (resolutions).
Management have failed/ ignored or disregarded the terms of the agreement and to date nothing has materialized. We have since filed our Statement of Claim with the Ministry and, in accordance with provisions of the law, we expect the conciliating authority to make a ruling on the matter soon. However, the workers reserve the right to engage in collective job action on health and safety related issues, as per section 104 (4) of the Labour Act (Chapter 28:01).
We have also taken up the matters with the parent Ministry, Minister Oppah- Kashiri – Muchinguri to apprise her of challenges being faced by the work force. She empathized with the workers and promised to follow up on matters with the Management and then call for a joint meeting in March.
The Code of Conduct has been finalized and awaits adoption by the Works Council for onward submission for registration by the Ministry. The union has also drafted the Constitution for the Water Industry NEC and is set to present it to ZINWA soon.
The 2017 Collective Bargaining Process is underway with the parties having their first meeting on 2 March 2017.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA)
The Workers Committee members from all stations were trained in various aspects of their roles by the Union at Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration Management (ZIPAM). The Code of Conduct is being finalized between the ZEWU Legal team and the EMA HR Department.
The Works Council Constitution is also being finalized between ZEWU, the Workers’ Committee and the Management.
Zambezi River Authority (ZRA)
The union is working closely with the Workers Committee and the NEC member to protect members’ interests as the ZRA Management has embarked on a restructuring exercise which is most likely to have some job cuts and redundancy implications.
The case to deal with which labour jurisprudence should govern the ZRA is still before the courts of law. We hope for a favourable outcome soon.
Companhia do Pipeline Mocambique Zimbabwe (CPMZ)
The 2017 salary negotiations were successfully completed. The Works Council is now seized with amendment of the Code of Conduct, drafting the Works Council Constitution as well as agreeing on a job evaluation system.
SCOPE FOR GROWTH
The union is also looking at expanding its scope into new and emerging areas that are coming on board and have recently been admitted into the NEC Zimbabwe Energy Industry. Such companies as Aggrecor (Dema Diesel Power Plant) and Finmark have recently been admitted into the fold and there exists some potential for membership recruitment.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES (ZEWU DIARY)
ZEWU, alongside the other IndustriALL Sub – Saharan Africa Region affiliates shall be holding the Sub- Saharan Africa Executive Committee meeting in Harare on 30 March 2017.
There shall also be workshops for women and young workers run by IndustriALL in March.
The union will be holding two key events in the month of May 2017 namely the National Women’s Advisory Council (NWAC) Leadership and Strategic Planning Workshop and the National Young Worker’s Advisory Committee (NYWAC) Youth Policy formulation Workshop.