INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI
NO. IRC 182OF 2005
GUNDE & OTHERS
- CORAM: R. ZIBELU
BANDA (MS.); CHAIRPERSON
MRN PADAMBO; EMPLOYEES
Gadi; For the Respondent
on retrenchment-Unions involvement
to be repatriated after termination
The applicants were
employed on various dates as loaders. They were unskilled junior
labourers. They were dismissed for reason of
of the respondent company that necessitated retrenchment. The company
closed the production of Quench
and Squash at Blantyre Plant.
Therefore the services of the applicants were no longer required. The
applicants were paid their
dues but were not repatriated. They
challenged the termination alleging that the dismissal was unfair.
They contended that they
should have been transferred to Lilongwe
where machines were taken to. While others alleged that the machines
that were closed
were not the same ones that the applicants were
using. In effect alleging that their work was still available in
respondent on the other hand alleged that the company had stopped
some production in Blantyre. The unions were informed about
consequences of such closure. The applicants were also informed and a
list of employees to be retrenched included the applicants.
applicants could not be transferred to Lilongwe because they were
unskilled junior labourers and that there were plenty more
labourers in Lilongwe who the respondent could employ. It was not
economically viable to transfer the applicants to Lilongwe.
An employer is entitled to
terminate services of its employees due to operational requirements
of the enterprise, see section 57(1)
Employment Act. In this case the
respondent proved on a balance of probabilities that the reason for
the termination of the applicantss
employment was due to
retrenchment. This is a valid reason. The process leading to the
termination was fair.
The reason for termination
was valid and the procedure following the termination was fair. The
action is therefore dismissed.
Upon termination of their
contracts the applicants were entitled to be repatriated to their
various homes or places of recruitment
whichever is nearer. The
respondent is ordered to repatriate the applicants accordingly with
aggrieved by this decision has the right of appeal to the High Court
within 30 days of this decision. Appeal lies only
on matters of law
and jurisdiction and not facts: Section 65 (2) of the Labour
this 31st day of December 2007 at BLANTYRE.