Monday, November 28, 2022

Workers take union to court

A case in which the National Amalgamated Local & Central Government Parastatal Workers Union is being sued by its former employees is expected to commence before the Industrial Court in Francistown on 30 August.

The former employees which have made a number of claims against their employer accuse the union of unlawful retrenchment. The applicants are all former employees of the union and each is claiming 12 months compensation for the allegedly unlawful retrenchment from the employ of Manual Workers Union. 

The applicants (former employees) are Karabo Matale, James Dagmore, Keatlaretse Tshenyego, Tshepiso Mpofu, Serwalo Tirelo, Kefilwe Banda and Kelebogile Kgathego.

Papers before the Court show that the 4th to 7th Applicant’s claim accrued leave in various amounts allegedly not paid and 1st to 3rd applicant’s claim the balance of their unexpired contracts.

According to the union’s Chief Executive Officer Elsinah Botsalano, “Claim A in respect of unlawful retrenchment enjoys minimal prospects of success on account of the that the applicants were not at all retrenched.”

She said: “They each applied to be voluntary separated from the Respondent and their applicants for voluntary separation were approved. The law as it pertains to fair/lawful retrenchment is inapplicable in the circumstances.”

Botsalano said Claim B which pertains to unpaid which pertains to unpaid leave similarly enjoys minimal prospects of success because the 4th to 7th Applicants who were not employed as managerial employees and were therefore entitled to only 20 annual leave days have not advanced any cogent reasons for why they assert were entitled to 25 annual leave days like their counterparts (1st to 3rd applicants) who were employed as managerial employees.

The Manual Workers Union CEO argued that the union, therefore, had paid concerned former employees in question their dues in respect of accrued leave.

“Claim c which concerns the 1st to the 3rd applicants and alleged non-payment for the unexpired period of their contracts is also unlikely to succeed because the said applicants applied for voluntary separation in accordance with an internal memo,” said Botsalano.  The said memo dated 4th October 2021 set out the terms of separation and did not include any payment for the unexpired portion of the contract.

Botsalano said; “Having applied for voluntary separation on specific terms which application was approved, the applicants as I have been advised have no legal claim for anything falling outside the terms of the voluntary separation.” 

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