Zupco workers sent on unpaid leave

The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) have started sending its workers on two weeks unpaid leave as it battles to cut costs, businessdigest has established.

Kudzai Kuwaza

Sources at the company said the workers are being sent on leave on a rotational basis, a development which effectively means that they will be paid half salaries.

“The process of sending workers on unpaid leave started last week,” a source said. “A number of workers from various departments have already began their leave.”

The company had in March made a decision to send workers on unpaid leave for three months. Maternity leave, sources say, had also been converted into unpaid leave.

The decision was only rescinded after angry protests by workers and the intervention of the union representing transport workers.

The company is still to pay some of its workers the other half of their March salaries despite having made a commitment to do so by the 28th of May.

The commitment to pay the remaining half of their March salaries was made after workers at the beleaguered parastatal besieged the company’s head offices last month demanding their salaries.

The workers said they were still in the dark as to when they would receive their April and May salaries, adding that efforts by the workers’ committee to get a commitment from management on outstanding salaries “has hit a brickwall.”

Sources said this was over and above the outstanding 2010 salaries amounting to about US$520 000.

They added that senior managers whom include the human resources manager who were fired are yet to be replaced.

Zupco owes creditors US$19,7 million which it is currently trying to recover through a recapitalisation exercise.

Senior Zupco officials including board chairperson Chipo Dyanda appeared before parliament recently where they were grilled on various issues including the alarming turnover of chief executives.

Zupco has since declined to comment on the problems at the transport company.