Employees take Star Africa to court over salaries

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WORKERS at Star Africa Holdings subsidiaries Highfield Bag and Polyfilm Plastics have taken their parent company to the High Court after going for over one-and-a-half years without pay following the sale of the two entities to a company called Mahshe Investments (Private) Ltd.

BY ALOIS VINGA

The workers, through their lawyer Governor Pendai of Machaya and Manyangadze, claimed that on January 17, 2014 the new owner had agreed to inherit employees’ outstanding salaries.

However, upon reporting for duty, the employees said they were shocked to discover that the company which was running the two entities was trading as Hibag Holdings and denied responsibility over unpaid salaries.

After failing to reach a consensus on payment of the outstanding salaries, the employees referred the matter for arbitration where arbitrator Patrick Chingoka said the company takeover deal was irregular, adding that Star Africa remained the official employer.

The workers added that when they checked at the Deeds Office, they later discovered that there was no record to prove that Mahshe Investments was a registered company.

“From the evidence on the ground, Star Africa engaged in a bogus deal by laying off its workers at the two entities to a ghost purchaser in order to evade payment of the due packages, which is a worrying development considering the fact that this is a well renowned company which must set good precedence for smaller organisations,” Pendai said.

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