300 workers to lose their jobs in Bulawayo
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ABOUT 300 workers are set to lose their jobs as yet another giant clothing company in Bulawayo has reportedly announced that it is winding up.
Management at The Ready Wholesalers trading as Belmor Clothing Manufacturers, situated at Number 43 Belmont, reportedly told its workers yesterday that it would be closing shop at the end of October due to viability problems.
The company management held meetings with workers to discuss their retrenchment packages.
In an interview on condition of anonymity, disgruntled workers said company management said it would compensate them depending on the number of years they had served.
According to some forms that were given to workers yesterday, those who have been in the company for a period of 10 years and below would be given one month salary for every year served.
One week salary would be given for continuous service to workers who have served the company for a period exceeding 10 years.
The workers said they have been given a three months basic pay as a notice.
They also said the company agreed to give them one month basic pay as a relocation allowance and a bonus of 50 percent pay (pro-rata).
The company also discussed the payment of accrued vacation leave balancing and payment of transfer of accumulated pension amounting under relevant pension rules.
Workers were also given an option to purchase or own company vehicles at 50 percent market value.
The money would be deducted from the package value calculated.
The package, however, is subjected to taxation as per Zimra retrenchment tax limits.
According to the forms, any loan amounts owed by the workers would be deducted from the worker's package.
Efforts to get comment from the company management were fruitless as their office line rang unanswered.
When News crew visited the company premises yesterday afternoon, the doors were locked as management was said to be locked in a meeting with some of the workers.
However, an employee who attended to the news crew said management was away and was not sure when they would return.
More than 85 companies have closed shop in Bulawayo in the past few years with about 20 000 workers losing their jobs.
The textile sector, arguably one of the biggest in the city, has been the hardest hit with about 19 companies having closed shop and laid off hundreds of workers.
Some of the textile companies that have either closed shop or scaled down include National Blankets, Archer Clothing, Cotton Printers and Security Mills.
Players in the industry have cited unfair competition from cheap imports and liquidity challenges as major reasons for the demise of the city's industry.
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