Spouses and children of sacked Lobels Biscuits workers storm the factory

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

SCORES of children and spouses of the former Lobels Biscuits employees in Bulawayo Friday held peaceful demonstrations at the company’s Belmont factory.

The company last week dismissed more than 400 workers for participating in demonstrations over sexual harassment, nepotism and low wages.

The workers also wanted the dismissal of the company’s Chief operations officer Andrew Dinhidza, whom they accuse of oppressing them.

Children and spouses of the sacked workers demonstrated at the company’s premises for ‘unfair dismissal of their dependents.’

“The children are here to just tell the management that they have hit hard times following the dismissal of their benefactors.

“The children are no longer going to school because their parents cannot afford school fees, uniforms and food.

“I was one of the workers who was fired and my pastor assisted me with buying books for my children. I am a widow and I cannot afford to sustain my family,” said Jeremani Serepiya, one of the affected workers.

Serepiya said all efforts to engage management over their plight has been unsuccessful.

“As we speak, we have been interdicted by the High Court not to set foot at the company’s premises.

“We have been trying to seek an audience with the company’s management, but it seems they are not interested in meeting us,” she said.

Serepiya said the workers and their families had a miserable Christmas as they could not afford to buy their families some goodies.

A form four student whose father was also dismissed from the company said she was last week chased away from school because her school fees were not paid.

“The company should just understand our plight as children.

“It really pains me that I am no longer able to go to school because my father was unlawfully dismissed.

“If the company refuses to listen to our plight we will be forced to write to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene,” said the student.

The workers said they were fired following their decision to report Dinhidza and his relative for sexual assault at the police.