An international humanitarian non-governmental organisation, World Vision Zimbabwe, was reportedly locked in a bitter labour wrangle with 35 former security guards who were demanding exit packages following their retrenchment two months ago.
The disgruntled former guards said they were engaged by World Vision in September 2008, but were laid off in June 2011 without terminal benefits.
“They stopped us and only gave us leave pay,” said a former security guard who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We took the matter to the National Employment Council of Zimbabwe, Education Scientific Social and Cultural Workers’ Union and later for arbitration.”
The guards said a Bulawayo-based arbitrator awarded them $45 450 for underpayment from January to June this year with each one of them entitled to $1 270.
“Since the matter was addressed by the arbitrator, the employer seems unwilling to pay us. We worked during holidays and those days were not paid for unclear reasons,” said a former security guard.
The guards said they were also owed over-time arrears for the period September 2010 to April 2011 which they would be demanding soon.
But World Vision spokesperson Stewart Muchapera dismissed allegations saying the workers had been procedurally laid off.
“All affected employees were paid their gratuities and leave in lieu of days in line with their contracts. The affected employees were given requisite notices as stipulated in their short-term contracts, which ended on June 30,” he said.
Muchapera said World Vision Zimbabwe had since appealed to the Labour Court against the arbitration ruling and the case was still before the courts.