Masvingo General Membership Address: Report

Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union (ZEWU)

The meeting was held on 1 June 2017 at 1700 hrs at the ZINWA Runde Catchment Canteen and was attended by 35 members drawn mainly from ZINWA and ZETDC.

Present
C. Makovere(Branch Member)
J. Masiya (NWAC Chairperson).
S. Phenduka (NWAC)
F. Mpofu (NWAC)
P. Chenyika (Education and Training Officer).

In attendance
Also present, by special invitation, were women from IndustriALL Global Union Zimbabwe affiliates who were attending a Women Organizers Workshop at the Chevron Hotel.

The meeting was to update members on issues in the industry as well as to give them latest position on matters before the courts and those under negotiations. The following were matters discussed;

ZINWA ISSUES

2017 Collective Bargaining Negotiations
Members were informed that discussions at the Works Council had deadlocked resulting in the matter being referred to the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare for conciliation. The parties’ positions were recorded as 10% across the board salary increment demand by the Workers’ Committee and a 0% offer by the Management.

Code of Conduct
The update on the Code of Conduct was given to the effect that the final draft had been adopted by the Works Council as property of Council. It was agreed that the parties would take the draft to all Catchments for the workers to have an appreciation of its contents before it was sent for registration at the Ministry.

Safety Clothing and Equipment
Members were informed that it had been agreed that all outstanding safety clothing and equipment would be provided to workers by end of June 2017. 2017 Safety Clothing and Equipment would start being distributed end of August 2017.

Workers Committees Reconstitution
Members were also told that the past Workers’ Committees terms of office had expired and fresh elections would be held to usher in new committees which would then meet to constitute the National Workers Committee.

Disciplinary Hearings
The members were advised to always seek assistance before writing reports and also never to admit to have committed acts of misconduct as it made things very difficult at hearings when one would have admitted to committing acts of misconduct in their letters.

T-Shirts Distribution
Members were reassured that all those that had not yet received their union t- shirts would soon get them once they were available from the suppliers.

ZETDC ISSUES
2012 CBA Dispute

It was reported to the members that parties had appeared before an Independent Arbitrator to deal with matters relating to timeframes on the dispute. The employers had given notice that they intended to file preliminary issues in writing, the union would respond and then the Arbitrator would deal with the merits of the matter after clearing the preliminary issues.

ZETDC Restructuring
The union’s position was that ZETDC had not consulted employees as required by the law and therefore whatever they were doing was null and void for lack of compliance with the law. The ZETDC had alleged that they had consulted through the Regional Works Councils. Meetings would resume on 7 June 2017 where the ZETDC is obliged to produce evidence that they consulted.

2014, 15, 16 and 17 Collective Bargaining
Members were informed that the employers were reluctant to come to the negotiations and hence the delay in finalization of the proceedings. The union had since written to the Group CEO registering our complaint.

Variation of Overtime payments
The union had realized that Management especially in the Northern Region had caused commotion through insisting that they would pay over time only for the work actually done despite the sometimes long hours employees worked in sections. A dispute had been declared and the matter was now awaiting determination by the DA.

ISSUES
Pension Disparities

Members complained about the disparities that exist between the Local Authorities Pension Fund (LAPF) and the Old Mutual schemes in terms of conditions and benefits which they believed disadvantaged other employees. It was explained that the difference lay in the fact that the LAPF was a Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) and the Old Mutual was a Defined Contribution Scheme (DCS) and that caused the difference in terms of the types of benefits that are paid when one goes on pension.

Financial Assistance
Some members raised concerns that whilst they got residential stands as set off to the legacy arrears from ZINWA, they could not afford to build on the stands due to lack of money. It was explained that it had been agreed at the Works Council that the ZINWA Board would approach the National Building Society (NBS) to enable employees to access loans towards building their houses.
The meeting ended at 1945 hrs.

P. CHENYIKA
EDUCATION AND TRAINING OFFICER

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