Miner to pay fired workers US$70 000 compensation

The company dismissed the workers on April 7 and hired new employees.

A CHINESE miner, Bunyip Mine (Pvt) Limited, has been ordered to pay over US$70 000 compensation to four unfairly dismissed workers.

The miner is in Filabusi, Matabeleland South province

In June this year, the fired quartet — Cosmas Moyo, Remember Muchayi, Doit Ngwenya and Joram Manala — took the company to the National Employment Council for the mining industry alleging unfair termination of their contracts.

The company dismissed the workers on April 7 and hired new employees.

On June 6, the parties appeared before conciliating officer Forbes Chitsenga and signed the reversal of the dismissal and the conditions to pay the four workers.

Abraham Kavalanjila, the president of the Professional and General Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe, represented the quartet.

On September 29, Chitsenga then made a final determination that the company should pay workers US$7 050,56 for non-payment of gratuity, US$56 404,44 for damages in lieu of reinstatement, US$5 323,50 for non-payment of leave and US$1 955,37 for under payment, giving a total US$70 647,87.

“Parties agreed on a certificate of settlement ... which fundamentally incorporated reinstatement without loss of salary and benefits. According to the certificate of settlement, parties had agreed that claimants were to resume duty on June 12. However, when claimants went back to work, the settlement was revoked by one of the senior managers who never partook of the hearing proceedings,” Chitsenga wrote in his determination.

He said the company accused the workers of stealing from work, an allegation which could not be supported by evidence.

Chitsenga said it followed that terminal benefits should be paid, as outlined by section 13 of the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01], having established that claimants had been dismissed unfairly.

“I order a payment of terminal benefits and damages in lieu of reinstatement of 36 months’ salary subject to agreement by the parties. Failure to agree, 36 months’ salary suffices in the circumstances,” Chitsenga stated.

“The respondent is ordered to pay US$70 647,87 in total to claimants as tabulated. This is being paid within 14 working days on the return date of this determination.”

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