The Zimbabwe Technical Energy Employees Association says over 600 ZESA workers are likely to be retrenched following the introduction of prepaid meters.
Western region representative Purano Ngulube told Radio Dialogue that several meter readers and sales managers are set to lose their jobs due to the switch from fixed meters to prepaid meters, an exercise that is currently underway.
“We are faced with a possible retrenchment of about between 600 to 700 workers nationwide because of the movement from the fixed meter system to a pre-paid meter system,” Ngulube said.
“Sales managers who have been the overall supervisors of these meter readers will also be affected, the company is going to cut down on the numbers of existing sales managers. Contract employees are not having their contracts renewed.”
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) western regional officer, Percy Mcijo said there is need for the power utility to devise other strategies to cater for meter readers into other technical departments.
“We aware of the changes within ZESA and how it is going to affect workers, we are in the process of getting together to discuss the issue making efforts so that we can agree on the best way forward,” Mcijo said .
“While we appreciate that the meter readers have been rendered jobless by the new development, we strongly believe that these people should be redeployed, ZESA has to be innovative in devising strategies of absorbing these workers into other technical departments because they cannot just be laid off just like that.”
However Ngulube said it may be difficult for ZESA to absorb certain workers into other departments as they do not have any other professional qualifications.