CBZ Holdings Limited has sent dozens of workers home after completing an extensive review of its business model, the second such bold move within a few months.
NewsDay Business understands that complex negotiations will kick off between CBZ and the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers’ Union (Zibawu) this week, which is pressing for a package that takes into consideration volatilities around the country’s freefalling currency.
But pressure would be piled on CBZ to work out packages that cushion staff from the economic meltdown after Stanbic Bank said it paid out $430 million early this year, in another carnage on jobs.
CBZ’s job cuts, which saw affected workers being asked to go on unpaid leave on September 1, follows a massive shift in the way companies operate since the Covid – 19 outbreak last year, which gave traction to a revolution being underpinned by tech based operations.
It was not clear at the weekend how many workers would be sent home.
But unions said ‘several dozens’ were set to leave the diversified financial services powerhouse, which trades its stock on Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
“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,” CBZ said in letters sent out to affected staff last week.
“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 said, calling 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.
It has been a bloodbath in Zimbabwe’s banking sector since 2012, when a 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.
“Operating expenses increased in comparison to prior year driven by expenditure of $430 million incurred in a staff optimisation exercise,” Stanbic said.
CBZ boss, Blessing Mudavanhu could not be reach for comment.