Redcliff risks property auction over salaries

REDCLIFF — Council employees have taken their employer to the High Court after the latter allegedly failed to implement a Labour Court order to settle workers’ salary arrears dating back to 2009.

The Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers Union (ZUCWU) filed the lawsuit on behalf of workers, who are reportedly owed $495 000 by their employer.

ZUCWU branch chairperson Mathias Sibanda claimed the workers won an arbitration award on September 2010 where the council was ordered to pay $495 906, 82.
But the latter allegedly reneged, prompting the latest court application.

The registration of the arbitral award is for purpose of enforcement in terms of section 98 (13) of the Labour Relations Act.

In its founding affidavit, ZUCWU noted the respondent was not paying salaries in time and that there was a backlog in the payment of salary arrears backdating to 2009.

Redcliff employees also contended the council management was negotiating in bad faith resulting in the impasse to the collective bargaining agreement.

In handing the award, the arbitrator considered council was facing an acute cash flow problem, especially in view of Ziscosteel and its workers’ failure to remit rates for essential services.

Council submitted that Ziscosteel and its workers’ remittances constituted 85% of its revenue.

On Wednesday, Redcliff Municipality was served with the High Court papers by Kwekwe deputy sheriff, Energy Pedzera, who confirmed the development.

“I can confirm service of the High Court chamber application for registration of the arbitral award.

The respondent has a 10-day grace period to respond before we take appropriate action,” Pedzera told NewsDay yesterday. Council risks having its property attached and has until October 26 to respond. Efforts to get comment from Redcliff’s acting town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza were fruitless as she was said to be out of office.

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