Fighting For Employment Rights
My name is Rose. I’m a wife, a mother and also a grandma of one. At one time back in 1987 I was employed at a telecommunications company. I worked there for 811 years rising though rank until I became part of the management. I was a senior at the company. I earned all that through merit and hard work.
Then it came a time in 1997 when I became seriously ill. I was suffering from kidney problems and that affected my work. There are days that I had to skip work to go for dialysis and there are days that I couldn’t get out of bed. My husband, children and friends stood with me. Some of my co-workers were also there. Not showing up for work was not out of my own violation. There was nothing that I could do.
There is a period that I was bedridden at the hospital for over 2 months. The company I was working for usually remitted my pay through that period. Then it came 1998 when I had to go to India for a kidney transplant. I was so happy that I had found a perfect match from a donor. It was my own daughter. The transplant went successfully and three week later I was back at home only to be shocked.
I was Sacked for Non-performance
The company that I had dearly worked and sacrificed for had dismissed me of my duties. In their dismissal letter, they cited non-performance. Whatever that meant, they just sacked me. I was really devastated. I wrote to them but I never received any correspondence and after I was fully recovered and out of bed, I paid them a visit.
While there, they informed me that orders had come from the head quarters and I should just accept that and go home and wait for my terminal benefits to be disbursed. I couldn’t take it and decided to visit the headquarters. The bureaucracy at the headquarters took another four months. Whenever, I visited there, there was always an excuse about the one responsible being busy, on leave or not available. All this time my terminal benefits had not yet been remitted. I had also been trying to secure a job to no avail.
The Labor Union Failed Me, But Not the Industrial Court
I decided to contact my lawyer for advice and he told me to go to the labor office for help. I advised him to do so for me and he wrote a letter to them. Two weeks later there was no reply. He suggested that we visit the labor offices together. While there, we handed them copies of all the documentation need and we were instructed to wait for a reply within a week. A week later there was no reply. Two week later the situation was the same. My attorney contacted them and they instructed him to wait as they sorted out the matter with the telecommunications company.
The wait was long and by the year 2000, there was nothing positive. I decided to take the matter to the industrial courts. My attorney filed the case late that year. I decided to go to court because I felt that the labor movement may have been compromised. The case dragged at the courts for the next 7 years.
A reprieve came in 2007 when the court instructed the company to pay me $78000 for my dismissal. They also wanted me reinstate at the company, but I was above retirement age by then. I happy because of the sound judgment of the industrial court.