Strike claims dismissed

ZIMBABWE Independent and Standard journalists never went on strike last week as claimed by a Herald story published last Thursday.

Facts on the ground are that although workers were not happy with the 70% wage increase awarded in the April negotiations, they did not embark on

any industrial action. The Herald yesterday published a retraction to their false story about the strike.

Group chief executive Raphael Khumalo said he had a meeting with workers’ representatives two weeks ago during which the workers said they wanted a 100% salary increment. A board meeting held last Wednesday however agreed a 70% increase.

“We felt a 70% increase was prudent considering the fact that we review salaries every three months,” said Khumalo.

“We will always continue to engage with workers regarding their working conditions and as a gesture of appreciation for their efforts we have since last year been paying a profit share bonus over and above the traditional bonus at the end of the year.”

Independent news editor Dumisani Muleya said journalists and other workers at the stable were at the time bargaining for higher salaries, not on strike.

“There is no doubt that we need higher salaries and better working conditions,” Muleya said. “We will continue lobbying, sometimes very forcefully, using all necessary tools of bargaining to our advantage. The rest of the comments by some misguided elements from journalists’ unions were simply malicious and unhelpful to our cause.”

ZUJ president Matthew Takaona said although there may have been no strike at the Independent stable, the union continues to urge employers to improve all journalists’ working conditions.

“We don’t want a situation where our members, be they junior journalists or editors, have to scrounge all over places to make a living,” Takaona said. “We urge employers to pay salaries in line with the market.” — Staff Writer.