Dismissed employees attach property, mining equipment

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NINE dismissed contract workers at Rubber Products Manufacturers in Bulawayo on Tuesday allegedly stormed the company’s premises and attached office property and mining equipment in a bid to recover nearly $17 000 they are owed in outstanding salaries.

by MTHANDAZO NYONI

According to sources, the workers secured a writ of execution to attach property worth $17 000 to recover their outstanding salaries and other benefits.

“Nine dismissed contract workers of Rubber Products are up in arms with the company following its failure to pay them their salaries.

“Workers stormed company’s offices, collecting all office desks, computers, chairs, compressors, sand blasting machine after the company failed to pay $17 000, an award from honourable arbitrator Ngorima,” the source added.

Reached for comment yesterday, the company’s operations director only identified as Mapanda could neither confirm nor deny the allegations.

“We don’t give such information over the phone,” Mapanda said before hanging up.

On February this year, other workers also secured a writ of execution to attach property worth $82 191,38 to recover money they were owed in unpaid salaries and wages dating back to January 2014.

Some of the properties that were attached at the time include office tables and desks, computers, chairs, cookers, cabinets, sand blasting machines, drilling machines and welding machines, among others.

The issue between the 16 workers and Rubber Products Manufacturers arose in January 2014 when management sent staff on leave and promised to pay them every month, but defaulted and instead employed contract workers in their stead.

Workers took the matter up with the Labour ministry for conciliation where the two parties failed to reach an agreement.

The matter was referred to an arbitrator, who on October 14 2014 awarded that the company pay workers a total of $78 054.

However, management failed to comply with the award prompting workers to register the award with the Bulawayo High Court.

High Court judge Justice Andrew Mutema ordered that the arbitral award be registered as an order of the court and the company to pay the cost of the suit.