Former employees of the liquidated State-owned bus company, Shire Buslines Limited, are still pressing government authorities to get their terminal benefits seven years after the company was liquidated.
A group of 19 former Shire Buslines employees who last week stormed Nation Publications Limited (NPL) office in Lilongwe complained that there were discrepancies in the way their final terminal benefits were calculated.
“We are suffering greatly and over 20 of our colleagues have died as paupers because they could not get proper medication when they fell sick due to poverty.
“When we were being retrenched, we were told that we could be given enough money as severance pay and on top of that, transport money to enable us to hire cars to take us back to our respective homes. To our surprise, we only got K20 000 as transport allowance and that money was not enough to hire a vehicle within Lilongwe,” said Mc Dough Banda, leader of the group.
He said they are surprised by the calculations of their benefits, observing that someone who had worked for a longer period and getting higher salary got less as compared to others who joined the company late.
“This is why we took the case to court and we are surprised that the justice wheels are moving slowly for us,” said Banda.
General secretary for Transport and General Workers Union Ronald Mbewe told Business News they took the matter to court after noting the discrepancies.
“When we saw the discrepancies in the benefits, we decided to take the case to court. I even identified a lawyer, but you know it is difficult to push a case when it is in the Supreme Court,” he said, claiming that they appealed to the High Court after they lost the case in the Industrial Relations Court (IRC).
Lawyer representing the employees Kalekeni Kaphale said the former employees claim was lost in the IRC and that an appeal was made to the Supreme Court of Appeal.