HomeBusinessWorkers, NTS in bittter wrangle

Workers, NTS in bittter wrangle

Some of the workers last week told Standardbusiness that the victimisation consisted of unprocedural dismissal which usually happens without prior warning, as well as the  lowering of their grades.

NTS closed 12 branches and three factories in 2008, resulting in the process to retrench 116 employees from the closed units.
The company however, could not afford the retrenchment costs which were determined by the Retrenchment Board and absorbed the employees into its remaining four branches and a factory.

“Despite re-opening most of the branches, they prefer to frustrate us instead of letting us go now that they can afford to pay,” one of the employees said.

“Those of us being retired on medical grounds are given paltry packages despite serving the company for years.”
One of the affected, Kokani Mushonga, who said he had worked for NTS for 17 years before breaking his spinal cord while on duty, said he was paid a package of US$900.

He was also promised an additional once-off payment of US$700 and US$78 per month, which he is yet to receive.
In a written response a senior official at NTS refuted the claims insisting the recalling of workers in 2009 was handled in line with the provisions of the Labour Relations Act.

This, he said, was further confirmed by the Labour Court following an appeal by the affected employees.

“The company is not aware of any overt or covert systematic victimisation of any employees,” the official said. “The company has an internal grievance handling procedure and is a member of the National Employment Council for the Motor Industry which also has a grievance and dispute resolution mechanism.

“Furthermore, the company has functional workers’ committees and a Works Council where such issues can be discussed. None of the alleged victimisation has been brought up through these channels. The company has awarded all salary increments determined by the NEC including two increments in 2011.”

The official added that where necessary, retirements on medical grounds have been carried out in line with the provisions of the relevant legislation and the NTS Pension Fund Rules.

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