Bata Shoe Company adjusts working calendar

Bata Shoe Company adjusts working calendar
Published: 05 July 2013
GIANT shoe company, Bata, has adjusted its working calendar by splitting the annual shutdown into two phases as a way of mitigating the challenges posed by the prevailing economic environment.

In an internal memo dated 2 July 2013, Bata Shoe Company Limited managing director, Mr Louis Pinto said the two-phased annual shut-down will allow the company time to clear overstocks in retail shops and procure the required raw materials in readiness for rolling production to sustain the back to school business next January.

"The economic environment in Zimbabwe continues to pose challenges to our industry. The company is operating amid very difficult conditions and in an attempt to mitigate the challenges and continue to remain operational, the company has introduced some adjustments to the current working calendar. Phase One of the annual shutdown will commence on 5 August up to 30 August. The factory will reopen on 2 September. Phase two of the annual shutdown will commence on 20 December and open on 6 January, 2014," he said.

The message was communicated to all employees in the production and other related departments and copied to all managers.

Mr Pinto said the two-phased annual shut-down was part of a broader scheme meant to help the Gweru-based shoe company remain viable.

Traditionally, Bata Shoe Company has been going on annual-shut down from mid December to mid-January of the New Year.

Mr Pinto said the decision to communicate the adjusted working calendar to the employees was taken after careful consideration.

He appealed to the workers to support the new development and help the company override the challenges it faced.

"It took me up to this day (Tuesday) before making this announcement hoping that business would improve but it was not to be. I hope that all of you will respond to these adjustments with a positive mind-set. With your collective support, the company will be able to weather the storm in these difficult times," said Mr Pinto.

Bata Shoe Company employs more than 1 500 people, excluding 170 who are engaged as contract workers.

The Gweru factory manufactures 200 000 pairs of shoes per month.

At its peak, Bata produced two million pair of shoes per year and employed over 5 000 workers.
- chronicle


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