By Marshall Bwanya
Harare Council workers, from the Amenities Department, who staged a two day sit-in demonstration over the absence of Covid-19 safety wear have been allegedly threatened with dismissal if they insist on their demands.
Reports from the workers allege that following last week’s demonstration the HCC Human Resource Department gave the workers an ultimatum to either continue working without protective wear or resign.
A council worker, who only identified herself as Rumbi, said the altimatum exposed HCC’s lack of interest in the welfare of its employees in these treacherous times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The human resource department employed divide and rule tactics by giving us an altimatum to return to work immediately or individually sign that we did not want to work.
“This tactic divided our resolve as individually we felt others would secretly agree to return to work with the belief that those who chose to object would be victimised,” she said.
Another Council worker who preferred anonymity fearing victimisation bemoaned their operating without protective wear alleging that it was dangerous for their health by exposing them to the contagious Coronavirus pandemic.
“It is unfair for HCC to expect us to work without any protective wear to protect us against the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Council only availed poor quality disposable masks with a short life span of 24 hours, yet some of us are expected to collect refuse without gloves and sanitizers to wash our hands after work,” he said.
At least seven people have tested positive of Coronavirus in the country, with suspected cases of the deadly pandemic increasing by the day.
HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme gave a brief response concerning the local authority’s failure to avail adequate protective clothing.
“Harare City Council is looking into the matter of providing adequate protective clothing,” he said.
Other resolutions reached by the local authority’s human resource department were that starting from April 1 2020, workers will be working two weeks in and off as measure to address their health concerns about Coronavirus.
However, the disgruntled workers are sceptical about the decision to work without sanitizers and protective clothing.