Recently, we have seen ex-Orange Uganda employees dragging the company to court in two separate cases, in which one of the cases halted the Orange Uganda sale and — wasn’t given a go ahead — until the first case parties came to a mutual understanding last week. The second case is still in court. This was not any thing new in the telecom industry, in 2003 the former UTL employees through their representatives Mweteise Bernard and Asaph Ndaula filed a suit in the High court, a case they later won in 2013. However the defendants failed to honor the court document and early this month the ex-employees tabled their petition to the parliamentary plenary which was presented to the legislators by Hon. Theopista Nabulya Ssentongo.
These aggravated former employees want their former bosses to honor the court ruling since they have tried to persuade them but all in vain and they hope this latest attempt will be the day’s savior and hence the move to forward a petition to parliament. This all stems from the now defunct Uganda telecommunications and posts limited that went through a divestiture to form the current UTL, Uganda Posts limited, Post Bank Uganda Limited and the communications regulator, the Ugandan communications commission in contracts that transferred staff benefits to the new companies that instead resorted to massive retrenchment exercises starting in 2002 that saw these workers lose their jobs together with their pension arrears and other damages.
All this was brought to court which ordered the defendants to effect payment of these benefits but they declined except for workers who were transferred to Post Bank Limited like the petition reads. The disgruntled petitioners have now tabled their grievances to the law makers. Since all defendants are government-owned entities, it makes sense for the petitioners to seek help from the policy makers in order to be accorded their benefits.
Its now up to the parliament to go through the petition and investigate the conduct of UTL, UPL and UCC and establish why the petitioners have todate not been paid their benefits and devise a way forward. As always we shall update this post in case of any adjustments.