CBZ fires dozens of workers

Financial services giant, CBZ Holdings Limited has sent dozens of workers home after completing an extensive review of its business model.

NewsDay reports that negotiations will kick-off between CBZ and the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers’ Union (Zibawu) with Zibawu pushing for packages that are considerate of the state of the economy.

CBZ is under pressure to work out packages that cushion staff from the economic meltdown after Stanbic Bank said it paid out $430 million early this year.

Although the number of affected workers was not clear on the weekend, unions said ‘several dozens’ were asked to go on unpaid leave on September 1. CBZ said in letters sent out to affected staff last week:

The group is undertaking a comprehensive review and reorganisation of its structures and business operating model in line with changes in the corporate landscapes and the way we do business.

Owing to the nature and purpose of the review and reorganisation of structures and business operating model, the group can no longer retain your service as a permanent employee or as a shift or short term employee. You have been included in a retrenchment list which has been forwarded to the retrenchment board and the works council. It is anticipated that the retrenchment process will be finalised by or before the 30th of September 2021. You are required to proceed on paid leave.

CBZ also called for a virtual meeting of affected staff on September 8.

A Zibawu spokesperson acknowledged receiving reports of fresh job cuts at CBZ but noted that it was premature to comment.

There have been massive layoffs in Zimbabwe’s banking sector since 2012 when the second wave of bank failures rattled the markets in the aftermath of the 2004 to 2008 financial crisis.

Last week, Stanbic Bank said job cuts carried out during the first half of 2021 added $430 million to total expenses during the half-year ended June 30, 2021, as Covid-19-induced hard lockdowns depressed the trading revenue line.


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