HomeBusiness DigestWankie to retrench 200 employees

Wankie to retrench 200 employees

Shakeman Mugari

WANKIE Colliery Company (Wankie) plans to retrench 200 employees as part of efforts to reduce its bloated wage bill and return to viability.

l, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The drastic job cut is part of the mining group’s turnaround plan which has since been marred by allegations of nepotism and employee victimisation by members of top management.

The businessdigest understands that Wankie is planning to sack the 200 employees by year-end.

“We have been having meetings regarding our plans to dismiss about 200 employees. We will now go ahead with the retrenchments. It seems we might go slightly above the 200,” said a source in the management.

Management has since approached the Works Council with retrenchment proposals. They have also been involved in attempts to persuade other employees to take exit packages.

“The management has approached the Works Council with the proposal. The Works Council seems to be in agreement,” said a source in the company. “They want to first offer retrenchment packages to interested employees before they start to pin-point on who must go.”

The retrenchment plan is the brainchild of the incoming managing director who has since begun streamlining the work force.

Sources within Wankie say there are only two posts still to be filled.

Other portfolios have been merged.

Only the positions of the chief engineer and finance executive are still vacant, sources say.

Businessdigest under-stands the management overhaul instituted three months ago is almost complete.

Wankie is expected to save close to $1 billion a month from the retrenchments. The company is currently running a $4,9 billion wage bill for employees who run close to 3 200.

Managing director Godfrey Dzinomwa said the company was not retrenching but had made a deliberate decision not to fill some 200 posts in existence before the turnaround plan.

“It is not retrenchment as such. We have simply decided to phase out the 200 posts,” said Dzinomwa. “We would not retrench anyone unless they volunteer to do so themselves.”

Asked about the ageing machinery which have been a major drag on the company’s capacity, Dzinomwa said the group intended to inject close to US$10 million toward refurbishment.

He said the first phase of the refurbishments would focus on the opencast operation.

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