THE Industrial Relations Court has dismissed an application by Zamtel to have the National Union of Communication Workers (NUCW) added as a party to the proceedings before the court, in a matter in which more than 297 former unionised employees have sued the firm.
Industrial Relations Court chairperson, Jones Chinyama, sitting with George Basil and Joseph Bwalya made the order in a ruling delivered on last Friday that the joining of the union would lead to unnecessary delay and inconvenience in the proceedings.
This is in a matter in which Henry Nsama and 297 others have sued the firm for underpayment of their terminal benefits claiming that they were not paid according to their conditions of service.
They want an order of the court directing the respondent to recalculate the complainants' terminal dues on the agreed months' pay as opposed to the wrongful months' basic salary.
They were also seeking an order of the court for the payment of the differences found in the terminal dues and an order to compel Zamtel to pay the plaintiffs the three months' pay for each completed year of service and pro rata for each year served.
The Lawyer representing Zamtel, Elijah Banda of MNB Associates made the application during preliminary hearings in chambers on October 19 that the union be joined to the proceedings because they signed the redundancy agreement on behalf of the retrenched unionized workers.
The court ruled that a cause of action between the complainants and Zamtel emanating from the claimed variations in the payment had been disclosed.
However, the court stated that regarding Zamtel and the union in relation to the complainants' claim, no such cause had been shown or demonstrated by Zamtel either in their affidavit or arguments by state counsel, Elijah Banda.
"In the circumstances and upon a reconsideration of Zamtel's application we do not find that the union is relevant as to these proceedings. We accordingly server the union from these proceedings and discharge the ex-parte order of joining the union to the complaint" said the court.