Striking workers burn sugar crop
Posted by CM on March 23, 2007
The web site Zimonline reported that striking workers at Hippo Valley and Triangle sugar estates in Chiredzi set 45 hectares of the sugar cane plantation on which they are employed on fire after management said it could not meet their demand for a 600 percent salary increment. The previous week 52 hectares had been set alight.
Admore Hwarare of the government-linked Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) said, “It is true that the workers set ablaze the sugar cane. They want their
salaries increased but it appears management is reluctant to award them any meaningful increments. No one instigated workers to engage in this act.”
Company managing director Sydney Mutsambiwa said, “The burnt crop is a complete write off. We are very worried over the latest development.”
With both workers and companies struggling to survive in the 1700% inflation environment of March 2007, it seems rationality has gone out of the window for some people. How do you benefit from destroying the company at which you are employed, no matter how unhappily?
When some sort of political normality is restored, restoring the sort of basic values of a modern economic entity will be one of the hardest things in the new Zimbabwe. For many years the political authorities have encouraged a kind of “conflict resolution” in which both parties lose. But this seems to be an extreme example.