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MOTORISTS in Harare yesterday enjoyed free parking in the city centre courtesy of striking Easipark employees who downed their tools in solidarity with their suspended workers' committee representatives.

Easipark is a subsidiary of Harare City Council and independently manages the city's parking lots operating like a private entity. More than 100 Easipark workers spent the day gathered at Easipark headquarters at Arcade Centre along Julius Nyerere demanding the immediate reinstatement of their 16 workers' committee members.

Workers' committee secretary Tongai Mandere said the executive was suspended to pave way for investigation into their conduct after they questioned the withdrawal of their 10% commission.

"We were just given letters which stated that they were suspending us pending investigations. What we know is we questioned why they [management] wanted to withdraw the 10% commission without consultation and we regard this as a breach of contract."

However, Easipark general manager Simon Muzviyo said: "The old manual system was porous and could be manipulated so we introduced the machine system which cannot be manipulated that is where the issue is emanating from.

"These other issues they are raising are only side shows. The real issue is that they do not want the new system we have introduced because it cannot be manipulated. As a company we are not going back with the new system, we are happy with it and we will continue to use it. It is sad that we have lost a lot of money today (yesterday) and this will have an impact on the cashflow of the company."

Workers who spoke to the news crew said they were no longer sure about their job security.

"On Monday, we were given new machines to use and we were told that if we do not use the machines correctly we will be sent home," one worker said.

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