The Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Lovemore Matuke was Tuesday shocked by workers’ conditions at the Chinese-owned ceramic tile making company, Sunny Yi Feng.
The Norton-based company has for long been denying reports of poor working and living conditions saying it was meeting expected standards.
Sunny Yi Feng would add that such reports were being influenced by actions of conspiracy as a result of revenge distortion.
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Following the reports, Matuke, accompanied by senior officials from his ministry, the national labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) made a surprise visit at the company where they came up against with the extremely adverse employee circumstances.
He was shocked to learn that the workers were daily fed on a diet of cornmeal and cabbages. He immediately ordered Sunny Yi Feng management to improve the food quality of its employees.
He told NewZimbabwe after the tour that he had implored the Chinese company to urgently reform and respect the country’s labour laws. He said:
It is the expectation of the government that every employer without distinction should respect the laws of the land, and as a ministry, it is our duty to ensure the Labour Act is applied, respected and enforced without favour.
Matuke also ordered Sunny Yi Feng to allow its workers to take regular off-days, improve the general cleanliness of ablution facilities and install doors for the employees to have privacy when using the restrooms.
He also demanded that a specific time should be created for the workers’ lunchtime, and not for them to eat while working.