HWANGE Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) has clashed with its employees following a notice which stated that the Labour Act shall no longer be used for human resources matters.
In a memorandum dated October 3 addressed to employees and signed by the company’s administrator Munashe Shava, HCCL advised that the changes followed the inception of the Business Improvement Plan.
“In terms of section 28 of the Reconstruction of State Indebted Entities Act [Chapter 24:27], the Labour Act shall no longer be used for human resources matters in the company. However, during the subsistence of the administration and with effect from October 2, the company respects the employees’ administrative rights and wishes to advise the employees that termination of employment will only be implemented, as necessary,” read the memo.
The company said the termination of employment would be through retrenchment, termination notice and dismissal.
On retrenchment, the company said the employees would be duly notified and be provided with the reasons for retrenchment adding that the employees will be afforded an opportunity to make representations and the administrator shall have discretion on a fair package for employees in accordance with section 28 of the Act.
“The company will strive to pay the necessary terminal packages provided in terms of the contract and all the benefits. The company reserves the right to request an employee to immediately stop reporting for duty and to pay any affected employee salary or cash in lieu of notice,” read the memo.
In a letter dated October 10, the Zimbabwe Diamonds and Allied Minerals Workers Union, on behalf of the workers, challenged the labour procedures.
“Your memo indicated in particular that the Labour Act Chapter 28:01 shall not apply in employment matters at your company citing section 28 of the Reconstruction of State Indebted Entities Act Chapter 24:27.
“We advised that with respect you are wrong on that point of law. The reconstruction of State Indebted Entities Act Chapter 24:27 was promulgated in the year 2004. The legislature in its wisdom realised the mistake of other laws and statutes intruding into labour matters and amended the Labour act in the year 2005 to address in particular the inconsistencies created by parallel statutes,” read the letter. – (Newsday)