Masambuka and Others v Luwanda (IRC 09 of 20066 ) (09 of 20066) [2008] MWIRC 24 (28 May 2008);

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IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI


PRINCIPAL REGISTRY


MATTER NUMBER IRC 109 OF 2006


BETWEEN



MASAMBUKA & OTHERS….…………………...…………………….. APPLICANT


-and-


LUWANDA…………………….………………..………….…………...RESPONDENT



CORAM: R ZIBELU BANDA (MS); CHAIRPERSON

NC KAJOMBO; EMPLOYEES’ PANELIST

JE CHILENGA; EMPLOYERS’ PANELIST

Applicants; Present (3)

Respondent; absent without excuse

Nyabanga; Official Interpreter



ORDER FOR WITHHELD WAGES

The three applicants namely; Harold Masambuka, Feston Milanzi and Faduweck were employed by the respondent as unskilled labourers. They were entitled to a monthly salary of MK 5 000-00; MK6 500-00 and MK5 500-00 respectively. They complained that they were not paid salaries for January to April 2006.


The matter came for pre-hearing conference where both parties attended court. The matter was adjourned for a further pre-hearing conference but the respondent did not turn up. The matter was referred to the full court for determination of the issue of withheld wages. The respondent was served with notice of hearing but he chose not to attend court. The matter proceeded to hearing in the absence of the respondent in accordance with section 74 of the Labour Relations Act.


The applicants gave evidence. They stated that they were employed by the respondent who promised to pay them salaries at the end of the month. To their surprise the respondent did not honour this promise although the applicants had performed their work. The applicants were not paid salaries for January, February, March and April 2006. The total claim is for MK 68 000-00 being withheld wages.




Order

The respondent is ordered to pay the applicants MK68 000-00 representing withheld wages for four months. This order is effective within 14 days of this day.


Any party aggrieved by this decision is at liberty to appeal to the High Court within 30 days of this Order.


Made this 28th day of May 2008 at BLANTYRE.




Rachel Zibelu Banda

CHAIRPERSON



Nick Chifundo Kajombo

EMPLOYEES’ PANELIST



Joel Evalisto Chilenga

EMPLOYERS’ PANELIST