Thursday, February 14, 2008

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation facing possible strike

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) – the main propaganda tool for President Robert Mugabe’s government - faces a crippling workers’ strike within days unless management can stump up on a 1200 percent pay adjustment demand. The workers have filed notice to embark on industrial action next week after the meeting of the broadcaster’s board of directors scheduled for 19 February.
In letter dated January 24, and addressed to Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer Henry Muradzikwa, the workers said they would strike within 14 days after reaching a stalemate with management on salary negotiations. “The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings employees are demanding a salary increment, a transport allowance increment, a housing allowance increment. The ZBH management has made it a point that they will not meet the demands,” part of the letter reads.
Muradzikwa has since written a letter to the workers warning that any collective job action would be illegal. “I wish to point out that management is aware of the need to review salaries and allowances and is very much cognisant of the hardships the ZBH workforce is facing in the current inflationary times,” Muradzikwa said in a memorandum dated 7 February.
A ZBC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the corporation’s finances were in “precarious position” due to low advertising revenues. The Zimbabwe government, the official said, had also been reluctant to enforce the payment of TV and radio licence fees, fearing the move could cost Zanu PF votes in general elections on March 29. The ZBC enjoys a radio and television monopoly in Zimbabwe, allowing President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party to employ it as an exclusive propaganda tool.
(Source: Netherlands Media Network Weblog)