The Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (Safod) is embroiled in a protracted labour dispute with a former employee after it reportedly failed to pay overtime benefits amounting to $3 500 as recently ordered by a Bulawayo-based arbitrator.
Former Safod bookkeeper Leonard Ndino is accusing management of refusing him an opportunity to pursue further studies and pay him overtime benefits. Ndino was employed as bookkeeper between July 2009 and March 1 this year.
“When I was engaged as a bookkeeper in July 2009, I explained that I was pursuing some studies with the Midlands State University. The agreement was that I was needed at work and would only continue with studies after accumulating enough leave days, but they could not honour it,” Ndino said, adding he was forced to work during weekends performing duties of bookkeeper and finance officer, but was not paid for the extra hours.
“It is therefore not proper for an entity which purports to represent and protect the interests of the disabled people to take a front seat on violating those same rights. These issues are so depressing. I cannot wait for yet another month.”
Following the organisation’s alleged failure to pay Ndino for overtime, he took the matter up for arbitration, before a Bulawayo arbitrator sometime in July this year. The arbitrator ordered Safod, which was represented by Lazarus Sarif Attorneys Legal Practitioners, to pay him $3 519,36 as overtime.
But, Safod acting director Robert Mukozho on Monday said they were contesting the award.
“This man just resigned hoping to get a better job somewhere. When he realised that where he had gone was not as he had thought in terms of money, he planned to come back through such means,” said Mukozho. “As for overtime payment, we do not have overtime in the organisation. Everyone who comes to work on weekends does that voluntarily.”