Workers at Sherwood Golf Club in Mabelreign held their employer, Tim Fischer, hostage for several hours on Thursday as they demanded their unpaid salaries amounting to over $18 000 covering the period between February 2009 and May 2010.
After the dispute had spilled into the Labour Court, on July 30, 2010, the National Employment Council’s arbitrator for the catering industry, Ephraim Tawana, ruled in favour of the employees. The employees, who had been earning $10 a week, were unhappy with the situation at the club.
A representative from the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions, James Mautsi, said it was unfortunate that the club was abusing employees.
“The law says if an employee has worked, he should be given his dues, but this man here has been committing this offence for the past two years,” he said.
The developments are said to have occurred while Fischer was in South Africa leaving the club under the management of one Rob Magnal, who, however, reportedly refused to attend yesterday’s meeting.
Fischer, who reportedly tore some of the protest banners the workers were carrying, assured them he was committed to paying them all their outstanding salaries and would do so by January next year.
“The workers must support me in this,” he said. “Yes, I’ll try and get the money in the first instance. I remain the executive authority of the club so that responsibility is mine.”
Fischer said he had drawn up a plan on how he was going to raise the money and was prepared to sell some of the property at the club. But the employees said since he had failed to run the club, they were prepared to take it over.
When he finally left the club yesterday, the employees told him never to return unless he brought their dues.