Maganga v Malawi Postal Corporation (IRC 24 of 005)) (24 of 005) [2007] MWIRC 73 (31 December 2007);

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IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI


PRINCIPAL REGISTRY


MATTER NO. IRC 24 OF 2005


BETWEEN


MAGANGA………………………………… ……..……………………....APPLICANT


-and-


MALAWI POSTAL CORPORATION………………... ……………..RESPONDENT



CORAM: R. ZIBELU BANDA (MS.); CHAIRPERSON
D. NAMANDWA; EMPLOYERS’ PANELIST
NC KAJOMBO; EMPLOYEES’ PANELIST
Chibota; For the Respondent
Applicant; Present
Ngalauka; Official Interpreter


JUDGMENT

  1. Dismissal- Reason-Operational requirements-retrenchment

  2. Procedure-Information on retrenchment-Selection list

Facts

The applicant was employed on 1 April 1996. He was dismissed on 30 June 2004. The reason for dismissal was operational requirements of the respondent’s corporation leading to retrenchment. The court heard that the respondent was carrying out a retrenchment exercise. Members of staff were advised of this exercise and were kept notified about the progress on the exercise. A number of employees were affected by this exercise. The applicant was one of the affected employees. However the applicant alleged that he was dismissed based on hatred. He alleged that he had a misunderstanding with one of his supervisors and that it was because of this misunderstanding that he was dismissed. In court the applicant failed to substantiate this allegation. He made statements based on hearsay. Further he failed to show that he was the only one targeted for the retrenchment. He failed to explain why out of 600 employees targeted for retrenchment he was the only one that was chosen based on unfair reasons. He also could not explain the role that his immediate supervisor played in the selection of employees to be retrenched.


On the other hand the respondent was systematic in his evidence. He explained that after a World Bank funded assessment of the corporations operations, it became obvious that the respondent had too many employees. That it was necessary to carry out a retrenchment exercise to reduce staff in order to enhance the corporations operations. Members of staff were made aware of this development. A list of employees affected by the retrenchment exercise was produced in court as RP2 to show that the applicant was not the only one selected and that he was not selected for unfair reasons.


The Law

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 applicant’s employment was due to retrenchment. This is a valid reason. The process leading to the termination was fair.


Finding

This action has no merit. It is therefore dismissed in its entirety. Any party 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 Relations Act.


Made this 31st day of December 2007 at BLANTYRE.



Rachel Zibelu Banda

CHAIRPERSON



Daphter Namandwa

EMPLOYERS’ PANELIST



Nick Chifundo Kajombo

EMPLOYEES’ PANELIST