The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has criticised business mogul Mr Strive Masiyiwa for allegedly abusing workers at his companies – Econet Wireless and Steward Bank.
ZCTU secretary general Mr Japhet Moyo said Mr Masiyiwa was depriving workers of their rights.
“Masiyiwa’s businesses are characterised by alarming work deficits, depriving workers of their fundamental rights,” said Mr Moyo in statement on Tuesday. “The nature of contracts that these companies are dangling to employees smacks of cold-blooded capitalism. They have introduced precarious volunteer contracts, in clear disregard of the sanctity of work relations where they treat workers as ‘helpers’ instead of stakeholders in the employment relationship.”
The labour union accused Steward Bank and Econet Wireless of leading the revolt against labour rights by refusing to pay compensation to workers who were dismissed on three months’ notice following the infamous Zuva judgment.
Econet is also challenging the retrospective application of Labour Amendment Number 5 which seeks among other provisions, to compensate the affected workers.
“Workers’ freedoms are severely stifled at these establishments with unrelenting dismissals of employees who join trade unions. This is against the fundamental right to association and to freely organise as well as participate in trade union activities,” said Mr Moyo.
“The ZCTU believes that Masiyiwa learnt nothing and forgot nothing from his 1990s ordeal at the hands of Government and has continued to be selfish in pursuit of his own rights while trashing those of his employees.”
Mr Moyo said freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining were not inferior to the rights Mr Masiyiwa was clamouring for and those which were affirmed to him by the Supreme Court, leading to the establishment of Econet. “While the ZCTU feels for Masiyiwa on the injustices that he is being subjected to, we also ask him to take a deep introspection of his conduct of union busting, threats and dismissal of workers who attempt to organise and defend their rights and take corrective measures before seeking empathy and preaching the gospel which he does not practice,” said Mr Moyo. Government last week withdrew the licence issued to Dr Dish, a private player, after it failed to pay basic charges that come with the licence for three consecutive years.
It emerged that Dr Dish had gone into a clandestine partnership with Mr Masiyiwa’s Econet Media-owned Kwese TV, which had not applied for the licence and Government critics twisted the debate to read as if the cancelled licence belonged to Kwese TV.