SUGAR producer starafricacorporation Limited has served retrenchment letters to 75 workers, but the workers have refused to sign arguing that their employer’s decision was illegal.
The company’s chief executive officer Robson Nyabadza in a letter to one of the employees (name withheld) said the termination was in terms of the employment contract and the law.
The contract entered into between starafricacorporation and the retrenched workers could be terminated by either party on three calendar months’ notice.
“We regret to advise you that the business has decided to terminate your employment contract in terms of the employment contract and the law. Notwithstanding the effective date of the termination, you are hereby directed not to report for work with immediate effect as the company has opted to pay you cash in lieu of notice period,” partly read the retrenchment letter.
“The termination benefits due to you will be September salary, three months’ salary in lieu of notice period and cash in lieu of accrued leave, if any. For the avoidance of doubt the three months shall run from October 1 to December 31. The terminal benefits will be paid to you over three months.”
Nyabadza could not be reached for a comment yesterday.
United Food and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe general secretary Adoniah Mutero confirmed seeing the letters and vowed to challenge the retrenchments.
“It’s an unlawful act not supported by any law. The alleged common law was repealed by Amendment No 5 and the current law (Labour Amendment No 11) did not reinstate the abolished common law position,” he said.
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“In fact, the employer should seek guidance from subsection 4a of section 12 of the Labour Amendment Act. Otherwise, he is just arrogant by making impossible experiments with the law. It’s a futile experiment any(way). We will challenge unilateralism. We are beyond the era of master-servant.”
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