Eighty former employees at a Zimpapers subsidiary, Typocrafters, are up in arms against the State-owned company over alleged irregular termination of their contracts and poor exit packages.
Zimpapers closed Typocrafters in December 2010 citing viability problems. The chairperson of the affected workers Elvis Masoreka told NewsDay some of his colleagues got as little as $200 in exit packages.
“The exit packages we were given ranged between $200 and $5 000 which we feel were in adequate for someone who was being laid off before the retirement age,” Masoreka said.
The former workers have since taken the matter to the National Employment Council (NEC) for the printing sector citing unfair labour practices.
“We are saying the company cheated us and we request them to revisit the retrenchment and assess the packages they gave us,” he added. A designated agent at the NEC, a KM Sibanda, wrote to Zimpapers concerning the matter after the company disputed the allegations.
“The relief sought by the applicant is that the respondent should regularise the retrenchment in terms of the labour laws,” said Sibanda in a letter dated February 13, 2012.
“That is to accord the retrenchees the opportunity to participate in the decisions that directly affect them in terms of retrenchment packages.”
He said the retrenchment was carried out without the affected employees’ consent.
But Zimpapers corporate legal services manager Daphne Tomana wrote back on March 6 this year dismissing Masoreka’s claims.
“It is disputed that the packages were imposed,” Tomana said.
“Masoreka and others took part in the deliberations and consulted their constituencies. As a result, an agreement was reached.
“Masoreka and others have spent their dues and now want to extort money from Zimpapers without any legal basis.”
Zimpapers chief executive officer Justin Mutasa could not be reached for comment yesterday as he was said to be in a meeting.