A study of collective bargaining processes and implications for the industrial relations climate in the energy sector of Zimbabwe : the case of Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (January 2009 - January 2013)
Mukombwe, Sharon Tendai
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The research sought to study the collective bargaining processes at ZESA and their implications for the industrial relations climate over the period January 2009 to January 2013. The study was driven by the fact that although literature on collective bargaining is abundant, very little is known about the actual collective bargaining process dynamics on the ground, particularly as they relate to organizations in Zimbabwe. Such dynamics if not handled with care, can be costly to the organization, the employees and indeed the nation at large. The research methodology used was qualitative with a sample size of 20 respondents that was limited to ZESA Harare employees only. The study made the following findings; lack of employee or stakeholder involvement in issues that affect employees’ conditions of service, parties to the bargaining process do not empathize with each other, too many hanging cases of collective bargaining litigation, all collective bargaining agreements since January 2009 to January 2013 have been brought to ‘finality’ through arbitration, management has not been complying with the law and terms agreed in the negotiations and a high level of ministerial interference in the collective bargaining processes. The study made the following recommendations; all stakeholders to be actively involved in matters that affect employees’ conditions of service, parties to advocate for a needs based or win-win approach when negotiating, management to ensure closure is brought to all collective bargaining litigation, parties to endeavor to resolve disputes in-house, management to comply with the law and terms of the collective bargaining agreements and also for Ministerial interference from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to be minimized. Future research should focus on the implications of outside interference in staff matters on the industrial relations climate.