SOME of the 238 workers who were fired by Chitungwiza Town Council last week besieged the town’s head office demanding that town clerk Mr George Makunde gives them their dues amounting to $3,5 million. The sackings came despite the coming into law of the Labour Amendment Act, 2015 last Tuesday.
The fired workers’ lawyer, Mr Tafadzwa Mboko, said the sacking was unlawful. “Council’s move was unlawful after President Mugabe signed the Labour Act two days ago. The employment Code of Conduct says both parties should be in mutual agreement to the termination. If that could not be done, it should be through retrenchment.
“The notices outlawed this section and council should follow section 12 of the Labour Act. “This means that by the time council handed the notices it should have paid the employees, hence the termination is unlawful,” said Mr Mboko. Mr Mboko added that they were still consulting with the fired employees and were preparing to challenge the termination in the courts.
This was after part of the disgruntled workers handed their termination on three month’s notice quizzed their employer’s move. They stormed premises at around 7am and vowed not to leave until management addressed them pertaining to their salaries. They however, dispersed around lunch time after realising that management was nowhere to be found.
The workers have gone for 30 months without salaries, not paid overtime and also wanted their terminal benefits. Management yesterday did not set foot at work. Some of the fired workers were from liquor department, revenue, and municipal police among other areas.
Workers’ spokesperson, Reverend Ephraim Katsina said the action by council was frivolous. “What council did was very frivolous. They council should have paid the workers their outstanding salaries before they handed them letters of contract termination.
“We are giving Mr Makunde up to Wednesday to tell the workers when their money will reflect in their accounts. “The said common law is out of question after President Mugabe signed the Labour Act three days ago. “The criterion used is ambiguous because from a resolution made recently in one of their meetings, they said workers who went for disciplinary hearing and those who joined council to work in bars in 2011 without its approval were to be sent home.
“However, it is surprising that some of them were not handed the letters. A foreman was sent to selected departments to write down the names of the people he wanted to remain with,” he said. Mr Katsina said as a representative, he would approach Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere.
“After meeting with Minister Kasukuwere we are going to contest the termination in courts and we will continue to gather here until management addresses us”, he said. herald