WORKERS at clothing retailer Truworths have taken their boss to the National Employment Council (NEC) for the Commercial Sector in Zimbabwe for delaying the payment of salaries.
This comes after employees had tried to resolve the issue with company management through meetings, also attended by chief executive officer Themba Ndebele.
A letter from the NEC regarding the alleged non-payment of salaries of the 56 workers was addressed to management and copied to Brighton Mudambanuki, the complainant and workers’ representative.
“In order to resolve the matter amicably, you are invited to call at the Council Offices, No 16 Luck Street, Rangano House, Kopje, Harare on 29 September 2023 at 10.00 am for a meeting with the undersigned. By copy of this letter the complainant is advised to attend the meeting,” reads the letter.
On two occasions, Ndebele has denied to The NewsHawks that workers are not receiving their salaries.
But the employees told The NewsHawks that management failed to fulfil its promises to resolve the issue within a month in August this year.
A worker who spoke on condition of anonymity said they had trusted management since the company had issued a rights offer to raise capital for the business.
“The operations [manager] is the one who said after one month we will see what we can do, but nothing is materialising,” the worker said.
The worker said the uncertainty in the company is what pushed employees to involve the NEC.
“There is no proper communication on the investors. The human resources department doesn’t even address the workers on the position of the company,” complained an employee.
Faced with growing competition and battling a weakening economy, the apparel retailer — that has prominent brands such as Topics and Number 1 Stores — has been scaling down on operations by closing some branches to stay afloat.
Last month, the company raised ZW$2.2 billion for capital through issuing 384 067 512 renounceable rights offer shares.
The workers hoped to be paid after that, while others pinned their hopes on fresh capital injection.
“Grapevine says an investor injected US$500 000, but the CEO and operations department are fighting on decisions. The stores are still very empty whilst they are holding money,” lamented a worker.
Despite all this, workers continue reporting for duty in the hope that they will eventually receive their salaries.