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Promote Workers Committees, Employers Urged

By Obert Siamilandu

Kariba- Employers have been urged to promote and support workers committees as to boost productivity and employee morale, Post On Sunday reports.

Impact Human Capital Solutions Press Liason officer and Industrial Relations Consultant,
Sylvia Makuwerere said capacitating workers committees in knowing their mandate in terms of the law is of paramount importance in any organisation if they are to succeed during a Labour Aspects (Zimbabwe)’s Labour Management conference held at Lomagundi Lakeside Association in Kariba.

She stressed the need for employers to prioritize trainings for both the employer representatives as well as the workers.

“The Workers Committee has evolved from being a confrontational institution to a business partner over the years.

” However there still exists some gaps in the way some Workers Committees behave in some organisations.

” This however does not erode the fact that the workers committee remains an important institution in corporate productivity as well as management of industrial relations.

” As an institution the workers committee has to appreciate that the purpose of setting up a business is to get a return on investment and to get that return on investment the social partnership has to be healthy.

“In the social partnership Worker leaders must appreciate that management is obligated to manage and employees are obligated to render a service (common law duty to provide service).

” This will ensure effective and efficient joint implementation and execution of the corporate strategy, said Makuwerere.

A workers committee is essentially a committee created and elected by the workers to represent themselves in matters which affect them.

A workers committee consists entirely of employees and does not include any management representatives unless it is solely a managerial workers committee. For the smooth administration and running of its mandate it is desirable that the Workers Committee should have its own constitution.

In most cases committees raise concerns from the employees to the employer regarding their welfare, salaries and working conditions; an inside institution brought to avoid matter being taken to labour courts.

However several matters have been taken to the courts for remuneration and unfair dismissals of workers, at which workers committees would have failed and or skipped by employers in making decisions.

Zimbabwe has over the years recorded high numbers of labour cases falling out in the private sector where there are no workers committees because of numbers, and majority of the issues relate to salaries and conditions of service, whereas majority would prefer out of courts settlements

Meanwhile Makuwerere warned employees against faking illness saying they should
” have a medical practitioner’s letter certifying that they are ill.

” The letter have to be produced to the employer for the granting of sick leave. It is important to note that a registered medical practitioner does not grant sick leave but the employer does.