Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Misheck Cheda has dismissed an arbitration award given by a local arbitrator upholding the Beitbridge-Bulawayo Railway Private Limited Company (BBR)’s retrenchment of about 70 workers in 2009.
The workers took the issue for arbitration and were represented by the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railway Workers’ Union and a lawyer Vonani Majoko.
Over the years, some of the affected workers had died while others were rehired, but 35 of them remained in the cold.
The arbitrator, Gladys Mpemba, in 2009, ruled that BBR followed the right channels in retrenching the workers.
But the workers argued the retrenchments were done despite the fact that they had not reached an agreement with BBR.
In his judgment dated July 13, Justice Cheda ruled that BBR must pay the costs of the legal proceedings in both the arbitration and High Court.
He said the issue could not be settled by an arbitrator under Zimbabwe’s laws.
In February last year, the workers approached the High Court seeking an order to attach BBR’s property worth US$330 883 for their outstanding salaries dating back to 2009.