Recently retrenched employees of Castel Malawi Limited (CML) have dragged the brewer to the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) over what they have described as misrepresentation and unfair dismissal.
The disgruntled former employees are being led by Purity Paschal Chitalo.
Through IRC statement of claim dated 4 November 2020, Chitalo and 28 others are also accusing their former employer of failing to consult them before effecting a retrenchment.
CML is one of the companies that effected massive retrenchments between 2019 and 2020 due to the volatile economic situations.
In May 2019, Castel Malawi Limited (CML) announced its intention to lay off about 300 workers due to the harsh economic climate compounded by illegal entry of foreign beers into Malawi.
One of the senior managers, Godwin Ng’oma, said the company continued to post losses; hence, it was taking all the necessary measures, including retrenchements, to save it from collapsing.
“We continue posting the losses,” Ng’oma said.
Ng’oma feared that the illegal importation of the beers would fuel further spread of Covid-19 pandemic into the country.
He challenged government to take drastic measures to stop further importation of foreign beers to protect Malawians from the pandemic.
“Since these foreign producers use unchartered routes to bring their beer into Malawi, there is no chance for authorities to conduct Covid-19 tests on them. This puts our local bar owners and consumers at risk of contracting the virus in the event that the producers carrying it from their country. That’s why we are urging government to take drastic steps to stop illegal trade lest we render our own measures for fighting the pandemic useless,” he emphasized.
But Chitalo and others contend that CML acted dishonestly by filling the positions they vacated through retrenchments.
“We are demanding damages for misrepresentation, dismissal and lack of direct consultation before dismissal disguised as retrenchment,” he said in an interview with Nyasa Times.
He added that they would also be seeking court’s guidance on immediate replacement of positions affected by the redundancy.
There was no immediate response from the company.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :