By Staff reporter
The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe(GMAZ) has warned employee representatives of the milling industry that their threats to embark on a nationwide strike is illegal and will cripple the industry which is already reeling under the devastating impacts of Covid 19.
This comes after representatives of the milling industry threatened to down tools citing poor remuneration after negotiations for a salary adjustment stalled.
In a statement dated April 6,the representatives said, ” We further put you as employers and principals of the Industry on notice that if the impasse is not resolved on or before tomorrow we are left with no option but to mobilize for massive demonstration at your plants both in Harare and Bulawayo.
”These demonstrations will start at National Foods and proceed to Blue Ribbons Foods,Agri Foods,”part of the statement reads.
The cited companies where the demonstrations are set to take place are some of the country’s largest grain milling firms.
But GMAZ ,through its Chairperson Tafadzwa Musasara cautioned that all negotiation channels had not yet been exhausted and embarking on a nation wide strike would bleed the sector,which is battling to stay afloat in the midst of a devastating Covid 19 pandemic that has rattled the global economy.
He said: “The principal is confused as to the intention of your letter,and will be happy to get clarity on the same if you so desire,”GMAZ response dated April 6 reads.
“The confusion arises from the fact that on one hand,you claim to engage the principal for a progressive discussion and deliberation of the matter yet on the other hand you threaten a demonstration in violation of the labour Act which compels you to provide a 14 day notice coupled with sufficient cause for your need to take up the collective job action.”
GMAZ has over the decades ensured that Zimbabwe’s grain requirements are sustained through periodic grain imports.
Since government declared a national lockdown due to the novel Corona virus,the milling Industry has been designated essential service provider.