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MORE than 600 workers have officially been retrenched since the beginning of August as the country’s rate of unemployment continues to grow at an alarming rate, sources within the Retrenchment Board say.

The board has approved the retrenchment of 623 workers since August to date with at least 15 companies having applied to close shop during the same period, but these have been put on hold for various reasons, insiders said.

This adds to the official 4 668 who have been rendered jobless through lay-offs between January and July this year.

Sources said that most of the 623 workers laid off are from the Innscor group of companies and Allied Timbers. The Innscor group includes Colcom, National Foods Holdings Ltd, Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn and Creamy Inn food chain retail outlets.

According to sources, government is "extremely worried" about the rate at which workers are being retrenched and this was clearly evident during the board’s recent last meeting with Ministry of Labour officials.

The new job losses, they said, add to the 9 000-plus workers who lost their work after 75 companies failed to reopen for business this year after the Christmas break. A July 2013 National Social Security Authority Harare Regional Employer Closures and Registrations Report for the period July 2011 to July 2013 shows that 711 companies in Harare closed down, rendering 8 336 individuals jobless.

Major companies that have also retrenched include platinum miners Zimplats and Unki, Bindura Nickel Corporation, Spar Supermarkets, Dairibord, Cairns, Olivine Industries and PG Industries.




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