TM managers’ war with employer rages on

The wrangle between TM Supermarkets and three managers over outstanding salaries is far from over, as the company recently paid them salary arrears withheld after they refused to work on Unity Day in 2009, but declined to put them on a similar salary scale as their counterparts.

BY SILAS NKALA

TM

Itayi Nkomo, Thembinkosi Nyathi and Khumbula Tshili were awarded $2 390 each by an arbitrator, which was registered by Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Martin Makonese on January 23, 2013 as a court order.

TM then filed an application seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the award, but the Labour Court dismissed it, prompting the activation of Justice Makonese’s order.

TM later settled the $2 390 arrears, but reneged on normalising the managers’ salaries, leading to a discrepancy, where they are now earning less than their subordinates.

On April 21 this year, the three managers applied for quantification of their arrears and sought normalisation of their salaries with a Ministry of Labour official, Simon Willie.

In his ruling, Willie said: “In October 23, 2012 Honourable I Bonda issued an arbitration award ordering the respondent to pay the claimants $2 390 each for underpayment and secondly to normalise the compensation system for the claimants in order to ensure equity, fairness and objectivity. The respondent has since complied with part of the order and failed to comply with the second part.”

The three had submitted that the second part of their award was supposed to put them at par with other section managers.

“It is against this background that the respondent was ordered to normalise this anomaly, but to date respondent has failed, arguing that they have since appealed to the Supreme Court,” the managers submitted.

“Respondent’s application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed by the Labour Court and it is the claimants’ submission that they registered award with the High Court unopposed and a writ of execution was issued. The respondent then complied with part one of the award.”

The managers further argued that at the moment, TM cannot stop the enforcement of the award through appeal according to section 164 (3) and 165 (1) (c) of the Constitution, but must comply and challenge it later.

The three said they are owed $2 336 each accumulative for every month they were underpaid.

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