Arda application thrown out

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The Labour Court last week threw out an application by the Agricultural Rural Development Authority (Arda) to refer its wage dispute with 450 of its former workers to the Supreme Court.

Arda dismissed the workers in 2009 to pave way for the Chisumbanje ethanol plant and has been reportedly trying to avoid paying them.

Following a legal wrangle in different courts, Arda applied to have the matter referred to the Supreme Court.

Labour Court judge Betty Chidzura last Friday dismissed Arda’s application with costs.

Arda applied to overthrow an arbitration award that overlooked the retrenchment of the workers.

It also sought to overturn the payment scheme it had agreed with the employees over their outstanding benefits.

A meeting held between Arda management and employees on May 28 2009 resolved that workers were to be paid terminal and other benefits before they could be transferred to the new ethanol plant.

In previous rulings, Arda was ordered to pay the workers from February 2009.

In dismissing the application, Chidzura ruled Arda was approaching the court with dirty hands and it was abusing court procedures.