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Bata workers protest over allowances

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BATA Shoe Company workers and management have reportedly crossed swords after the firm failed to implement a salary review awarded by an arbitrator in 2010.

BY Stephen Chadenga

Investigations by this paper revealed that the company owes employees in grades A to H close to $200 000 in housing and transport allowances for the period stretching between July 1 and December 31, 2010.

In February this year, the shoe manufacturer appealed the order and lost the case at the Supreme Court.

Bata had initially appealed to the Labour Court to set aside the decision of the National Employment Council (NEC) of May 10 2011 and further sought to be exempted from paying the 9, 1% wage increase for the period July to December, 2010.

Early this week, the workers engaged in tea break protests to pressure the management to honour a review of their housing and transport allowances as awarded in the arbitration.

The workers have since advised Labour minister Priscah Mupfumira of their industrial action.

“The arbitral award by honourable (Elisha) Ganyani is dated 22 April 2015.

“To date (Bata managing director) Mr Sengupta (Ronjoy) has not implemented the award as required by the law. So what was the point of referring this dispute for arbitration,” part of the workers’ letter to Mupfumira read.

Sengupta was not available for comment but workers committee spokesperson, Edias Bhasikiti said the protests were to pressure the firm to honour its obligations.

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