BY JAMES MUTASA
The Designated Agent of National Employment Council for the Electronics, Communications, Radio TV Manufacturing and Allied Industry Boniface Madziwabende recently determined that Satewave Technologies Private limited recalculate underpayments owed to its former employee Phil Kwekwani using the United States of America dollars for the period covering
June 2021 to April 2022.
Madziwabende had ordered that Satewave (Pvt) Ltd a giant in the construction technology services operating in the telecommunications, electrical, civil construction sectors should recalculate the underpayments for either the United States of America Dollars or the Zimbabwean Dollar using the correct
collective bargain salaries and grades for the stated period and make adjustment where necessary and pay the claimant within 30 days from receipt of the said determination.
Kwekwani had told the Designated Agent that Satewave Technologies had paid him salaries far below the gazzeted minimums of the National Employment Council adding that he was never furnished with any pay slips thereby depriving him of information regarding deduction of statutory obligation from his salaries, his grade, pay rate and accrued leave days among other information highlighted in the pay slip.
“The law is very clear that one must exhaust all internal proceedings of the company before approaching a third part,” argued Satewave Technologies in their submissions submitted to the Designated Agent.
“The claimant never approached the management of the company with his issue of underpayment and was a student who was learning from the company to gain experience,” added Satewave who concluded thus, ‘Claimant erred by not exhausting internal remedies before approaching the National Employment Council.’
In the determination Madziwabende noted that the way the Respondent (Satewave Technologies) paid the claimant (Phil Kwekwani) raises a lot of questions.
Madziwabende further determined that Satewave Technologies should remit all the US$ statutory obligations of the US$ basic salary to relevant statutory bodies including NEC for the stated period since they had clearly stated that it was part of the claimant’s basic salary.
“We will not sit back while workers’ rights which include but not limited to unconditional payment of agreed minimum wages and provision of pay slips are being infringed by the other part which is the employer. We will act accordingly,” said Henry Tarumbira who is the General Secretary of National Union of Metal and Allied Industry in Zimbabwe a union which covers the electronics sector.