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Retrenched ZBC workers win appeal

Staff Writer

THE Labour Tribunal has ruled in favour of over 400 Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) workers retrenched last year under a restructuring exercise.

The court said the workers remain the corporation’s employees until their full benefits are paid.

In an arbitration award given last week, the court said the employees would be deemed to be employed by the ZBC “until the retrenchment is completed as per agreement”.

ZBC stopped paying the workers after they were retrenched last year. The ruling means the workers are entitled to receive full salaries and benefits backdated to the time they were laid-off.

The employees argued that medical aid and pensions were part of their retrenchment packages, which ZBC was refusing to pay.

“Having analysed the situation, it is hereby ordered that the retrenched employees are still employees of ZBC until the retrenchment exercise is completed as per agreement,” the tribunal said.

ZBC embarked on a restructuring exercise last year as part of Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s efforts to cut the corporation’s huge salary bill. At least 425 workers lost their jobs.

An agreement was signed on June 19 last year between the workers and the corporation stating that retrenchment packages would be paid in full. The employees insist they have not been paid their severance packages in breach of the agreement they signed.

In reaching its ruling, the Labour Tribunal said the ZBC had to adhere to the agreement reached with the employees at the time of the retrenchment exercise.

The court said ZBC’s failure to pay pension remittances on time amounted to non-fulfilment of its obligation.

“The agreement that employees would remain ZBC workers until the package was paid in full was made to take care of the situation that employees find themselves in,” declared the labour court.

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