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    Sunday, 13 March 2016

    Mangwana takes Tongaat to Constitutional Court

    Morris Bishi
    Chiredzi Bureau

    – Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers Union (ZISMIWU) is challenging the constitutionality of a section of the Labour Act after Tongaat Hullett refused to pay wages for the days that they were on strike.
    Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana who is the lawyer for ZISMIWU told The Mirror in an interview that he will approach the Constitutional Court this week to challenge Section 108, Sub-section 4 of the Labour Act of the Labour Act which was invoked by Tongaat Hullett when it deducted three weeks salaries on all its employees who took part in the December job action.
    Mangwana said the section is unconstitutional as it goes against the new constitution and the act needs to be harmonised with the new constitution which says there is freedom of assembly.
    Tongaat Hullet Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager Adelaide Chikunguru declined to comment on the matter.
    "Thank you for your on-going interest in our operations. We will, at this time not be making comments on the matters raised," said Chikunguru.
     "Thousands of workers` had their January salaries deducted leaving them with nothing to take home but we are taking the case to the Constitutional Court. What Tongaat Hullett did is legal according to the Labour Act but we are saying the law which they invoked is unconstitutional in-terms of the new constitution which says there is freedom of assembly. We want to have Section 108, Sub Section 4 struck off the Labour Act as it fringes the rights of the workers. There were threats and we were waiting for them to implement it so that we can gather enough evidence for us to mount a challenge at the Constitutional Court and as I speak we are doing papers which we can file anytime this week. The Labour Act should be harmonised with the new constitution and workers should be given their salaries when they are on job action," said Mangwana.
    Mangwana also said there was no progress on the negotiating table between ZISMIWU and its employers as the employers failed to fulfil some of its promises resulting in them calling another job action which was challenged at the High Court by Tongaat Hullet. Both parties were expected in the Labour Court again on Friday over the case in which Tongaat Hullett is seeking to force ZISMIWU to go for the arbitration process, the process which the union says is too long.
    "We called for another job action recently but the employers challenged it and we are going back to the Labour Court on Friday. The employers are trying to force us to go to the arbitration process which we don't feel is good for us. The law says if parties signed a certificate of no settlement there are two options which they choose, to go for arbitration or job action but we feel arbitration takes time hence we chose to withdraw our labour" said Mangwana.local news
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