NEARLY 300 former Jinan diamond mining firm workers have sued their employer demanding $635 000 terminal benefits after they were laid off during the arbitrary consolidation of all companies operating in Chiadzwa in February last year.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
The 267 former workers filed their claim at the High Court in Harare last Thursday, claiming that repeated requests for their outstanding wages and benefits had gone unheeded by the Chinese company.
In summons filed by their lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, the workers said Jinan had already acknowledged that it owed them the money.
“We, the plaintiffs, claim for payment of the sum of $635 000 being the total amount owed to the plaintiffs by the defendant. The defendant owes each plaintiff and has acknowledged such indebtedness,” the summons read.
In their declaration attached to the summons, the workers also provided letters of acknowledgement of debt to each employee by Jinan.
Jinan, in the letter of termination of contract, acknowledged its indebtedness to the employees and claimed the situation had ben unforeseen and occasioned by the government’s actions.
“It is common cause that the mine was closed on February 22, 2016 on the directive of the Mines and Mining Development ministry. As a result, we are unable to offer work effective February 22, 2016 meaning your contract terminates on that day. This decision has been caused by the events of February 22, 2016, which neither party had nor has control over,” Jinan wrote.
“You are advised to make arrangements to contact the human resources department at the company headquarters to confirm your terminal benefits and payment plan for the balance due amounts specified and will be advised to you once it is ready,” part of the letter signed by deputy managing director, Tapiwa Goronga read.
The employees are owed various amounts, with the highestowed $9 900, while the lowest is owed $100.