ZBS Workers Threaten To Go For Strike :Say Tired Of Low Salaries, Poor Working Conditions

ZBS staff to go for strike

Workers at private owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) have threatened to down tools following grievances that they have over working conditions.

A statement seen byMalawi Independent and signed by Frank Ziba who is chairman of the workers at the station has disclosed that members of staff at the institution will down tools from 4 September if their grievances are not addressed.

According to the statement, workers at ZBS have grievances over their salaries which have not been raised over two years.

The workers have also accused ZBS management of stealing from them by deducting money from their salaries for their pension although they do not deposit the same with NICO which manages the pension scheme.

“On the pension issue Zodiak since it joined it hasn’t been remitting our pension funds to NICO according to the statements that we received its show that Zodiak only paid the funds for a few months only, so we took up the issue with management to resolve the issue but there has not been any positive response from management,” reads a part of the statement.

The statement has further given the broadcaster an ultimatum to address all their grievances or risk a sit-in.

Below is the statement and publish it verbatim:

Dear colleagues

As you are aware for over three years now, we have been raising to management our concerns through our ZBS union representatives as well as the secretariat. To show our commitment and dedication for the Company, we have listened, accepted and waited patiently for management to implement some of the things like pensions. On the other hand we have responsibly accepted and agreed to management’s response that it was not able to effect some salary increment in the past 2 years due to difficult financial situation in those years.

In the last meeting that executive members had with the general manager they were told that management is trying to harmonize the salary structure and that it will be complete by the month of June and come end July we are going to receive new salaries, of which hasn’t been the case. And sadly there hasn’t been any communication from management on what has happened to the harmonization, the salary increment. The current situation has left many employees dire that it is leading into demotivation.

On the pension issue Zodiak since it joined it hasn’t been remitting our pension funds to NICO according to the statements that we received its show that Zodiak only paid the funds for a few months only, so we took up the issue with management to resolve the issue but there has not been any positive response from management.

Apart from Zodiak not remitting the funds there are also some arrears on names of members and age of members, even though Zodiak paid for a few months at NICO, the money that was reflected on the statements is not what was been deducted on our salaries which actually show that something is not right.

It is from this background that on 20th July, 2017, employees held a general meeting where a range of issues including the pension remittance, salary increments were discussed and at the end the meeting made the following resolutions for management’s urgent action;

That our pension statements recently received have several anomalies and that they be corrected and provide us with the updated ones by end of August, 2017.

That all non-remitted pension contributions be remitted by end August, 2017.

That proper organizational structure or organogram of the company be put in place ( as the exercise started long time ago but is yet to be concluded)

That employees of the same grade and position have equal benefits ( as some are not enjoying some benefits that fellow workmates of the same grade and post are given)

That employees who have worked for 12 months or more should be confirmed as per our conditions of service as well as labour laws of the land.

That management should implement a salary review as we have already stayed for over two years without any.

If management does not meet the above stated concerns by end August, we members of staff will sit in for a strike starting on 4th September 2017 until our demands are fulfilled.

For this strike to be effective we want many names as possible to take part in this activity, whether you are in districts you can still take part in this activity even if you are not a member you can easily become one. this will not only benefit members but also those that are non members.

for further details you are free to ask.

Frank Ziba.
COWUMA CHAIRMAN.

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