Sleep Strike: Workers Besiege Offices Over Unpaid Wages

Harare – They are used to sleep in banking queues, and nothing can deter them from sleeping at their employer’s premises for two weeks to demand their dues.

For two weeks, Allied Timbers has become a home for 70 angry workers, after going for 17 months without a salary.

The contract workers gathered their families and travelled from the company’s plantation to sleep in corridors and boardroom at the head office, in Mutare industrial area.

Sadly, the employees were fired for their unusual protest.
People Sleep in Bank Lines in Harare 

The dismissed workers are owed in excess of $2 000 in unpaid wages. They were entitled to $110 monthly.

Since the beginning of their protest, they were only addressed by a human resources coordinator, who said the company would address their cause.

“This is not fair. The company management does not even care about us. We have been complaining for a long time about our dues and they just ignore us. Only after we besieged these premises they then announced to us that they had deposited some money in our accounts, the workers said to Manica Post.

He added: “When we went to the bank to check, only a few had a part payment of $345 deposited in their accounts.”

The company has employed victimisation tactics to scare the striking employees.

“I had a chance to renew my contract, but I decided to leave after I had seen that there was no future with this company. At that time I had gone for 10 months without being paid and up until now I have not received anything.”

The workers have vowed to stay at the premises until their dues are paid.

“We will not leave this place until we get what is due to us. They have been taking us for granted for a long time and we are saying enough is enough,” added another lady.

The company spokesperson refused to comment.

Allied timbers have been affected by lack of capital and old machinery among other setbacks. www.tinzwei.com/Manica Post

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