Hwange suspends 500 striking workers

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HWANGE Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) has suspended 520 workers over salary disputes and alleged breach of the company’s code of conduct.
The workers went on strike over outstanding employee share option schemes which have not been honored to them by the company.
Workers at the colliery claim they have not been issued with share certificates for shares options they exercised in 2007, with the single major shareholder Nick van Hoogstraten allegedly blocking blocked the scheme.
Hwange introduced a share option scheme in 2005 for a period of 10 years to 2014, but in 2007 van Hoogstraten blocked the scheme after workers had already exercised their rights on the options that year.
To compound the matter, the workers say they have not been able to exercise their options since 2008 because of the dispute and some employees have passed on, leaving beneficiaries with no compensation.
“We have widows and we now have a situation whereby some (widows) have also died and yet still the beneficiaries have not received their shares,” one worker said.
The employees are also accusing management of unfairly dismissing five workers, threatening them and failure to pay m salaries for two months.
HCCL’s turnover for the year to December 31 2012 was US$104,2 million from 107,9 million recorded last year.
Export revenue of US$26,1 million accounted for 25 percent of turnover for the year compared to US$13,4 million a 12 percent increase from last year.
The export revenue is expected to continue to grow given the anticipated increase in production volumes as the company takes delivery of new equipment.
Profit from operations increased by 73 percent from US$4,1 million in 2011 to US$7,1 million last year. The net profit for the year ended December 31 2012 was US$3,1 million compared to US$3,9 million achieved during the same period in 2011.Advertisement