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Striking Turk Mine workers ordered back to work

by Staff Reporter
20 Dec 2017 at 05:49hrs | Views
THE Labour Court has ordered 703 striking Turk Mine workers to go back to work within 48 hours saying the job action was illegal.

The Turk Mine workers have been on strike since November 20, demanding full salaries dating back to July.

In a disposal order granted on Friday, Labour Court judge Justice Mercy Moya-Matshanga ordered the workers to return to work immediately. "The issue giving rise to the dispute be and is hereby referred to a labour officer for the National Employment Council for the Mining Industry for determination. Pending such determination, the unlawful job action be and is hereby terminated," she said.

In her ruling, the judge said no worker would be paid for the duration of the strike.

"That the applicant be and is hereby empowered to take disciplinary action against any employee who disobeys the terms of this order. That the employer's obligation or liability to pay all or part of the wages or benefits due to specified employees or categories of employees engaged in the unlawful collective action, in respect of the duration of such collective action be and is hereby discharged," ruled Justice Moya-Matshanga.

She ordered the striking employees to return to work within 48 hours of the granting of the order.

"Employees already on leave are excluded from returning to work within 48 hours. This order does not bind employees whose contracts have already expired," Justice Moya-Matshanga said.

According to court papers, workers embarked on a collective job action on November 20. Thathile Investments trading as Turk Mine applied for a show-cause order on December 7 after 703 out of 1019 employees embarked on a collective job action.

In their letter to the Ministry, the Human Resources Manager Mr Ndoziya said operations had come to a standstill and the mine risked flooding if the job action is allowed to continue.

"The reason for the strike is alleged non-payment of wages from July 2017 to date. We believe this is a dispute of right to terms of Section 104 which strike action is not a legal remedy," wrote Mr Ndoziya. "The employees through their unions (ZWAWU) have correctly lodged a case with NEC and conciliation hearings took place and a certificate of no settlement was issued."

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Source - Chronicle