Gweru worker camps at employers premises

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GWERU A former employee at Aquirium Trading (Pvt) Ltd has picketed his boss premises and vowed to stay put until he is paid terminal benefits and outstanding salaries.

The former machine operator at the Lebanese-owned mining firm, Wellington Muromo, claims his contract was unfairly terminated in November last year after the firm sold the grader he used to drive.

He claimed to have worked for the gold-mining company for five years.

Muromo said soon after terminating his contract, the firm evicted him from the company house he was staying, in but he has refused to vacate it.

I slept here (outside the wall) last night with my belongings after I was evicted, but I will stay here until my dues are paid, he said.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) yesterday accused the firm of employing unfair labour practices.

This is a violation of Section 12 of the Labour Act. The employer knew that his worker used the premises for accommodation, and they now want to evict him at such short notice. He should be given at least a months notice, said ZCTU central region paralegal officer Charles Chikozho.

When NewsDay visited the company premises yesterday, Muromo was still camped outside. Part of his termination letter reads: We write to advise about the termination of your employment contract with effect from 30 November 2011 due to managements disposal of the grader that you have been operating, to Mr Casper Tsvangirai of Toreka (Pvt)Limited.

Please note the grader has been sold to Mr Tsvangirai on the strict understanding that he shall employ you with effect from 1 December 2011.

The letter was signed by the firms human resources manager only identified as PT Chatora. Last month, the Labour Court ordered the firm to pay up, but the mining concern allegedly indicated it would only do so when funds were available.

Company owner Taribo Mohammadcould not be reached for comment yesterday.