The country’s largest leather shoe manufacturer, Bata Shoe Company, on Friday offloaded close to 150 employees most of whom had served for close to half a century after taking advantage of the recent Supreme Court ruling that allows companies to terminate employees’ contracts on three months’ notice.
Bata employees were on Friday served with the notices of termination of contracts with effect from 7 August 2015.
“Management of the Zimbabwe Bata Shoe Company have decided to terminate your contract of employment with on notice in terms of the Labour Act of Chapter 28 (01) and/or in terms of common law of section 12 (4) of the Labour Act allow us to give you three months notice of termination of employment relationship.
As we hereby do, your notice shall take effect from 7 August 2015 (Friday) which is the date on which the notice is issued,” reads part of the termination of contract notices seen by Sunday News.
Mr Edson Mlambo, the vice chairman of the workers’ committee, who was also served with the notice, confirmed the development saying most of the employees who were sent packing had served the company for close to 50 years.
“I served the company for 36 years. I joined Bata before independence. Most of my colleagues have served the company for 46 years.
“It is sad that such long serving employees were not rewarded for their effort and the contribution they made to the company,” he said.
The termination of contracts also came in the wake of 19 other employees being suspended on allegations of inciting other employees when they organised a demonstration and later downed tools demanding a salary and allowances increment.
Bata, which had a workforce of more than 1 300, joins other big companies such as Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), National Railways of Zimbabwe, Sino, Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and Daily News, among others that have capitalised on the ruling to reduce their workforces.
Parliament said the proposed amendments to the Labour Act could be completed within a week once the Bill is brought to the legislature.
The Zanu-PF Politburo on Wednesday last week announced that Cabinet had approved the amendments that are meant to halt the spate of job terminations that have characterised the job market in the last fortnight. Sunday News