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Dancers, employees down tools at Mantenga
By SABELO MASIMULA - SWAZI TIMES-01-Jul-2009
Ezulwini – Drama unfolded at Mantenga Cultural Village yesterday as dancers and other employees downed their tools
The employees hinted last week that they anticipated engaging in a strike action because they were aggrieved about the working conditions. However, they aborted it for fear of losing their jobs.
The employees have now turned around and say their fear could no longer help their situation.
Deductions They alleged that their working conditions were getting worse each day. They alleged that they were normally paid their salaries on the 25th of each month, but they were still not paid yesterday at 11am for the month of June. Graded tax deductions, overtimes and working under no formal contracts formed part of the grievances the employees had.
Meanwhile, the village’s Managing Director, Jan Lombardt, attributed his employees’ action to lack of understanding privatisation. “When I got here a parastatal was in charge of the entity, obviously there are a lot of changes that come with a private company, and I think my employees’ dissent comes from the lack of understanding the latter,” said Lombard.
Refusing He acknowledged their grievances and said he had instructed his employees to form a committee that would be legally recognised by his management. “I am not saying my employees should not voice out their concerns. They must voice them through legal and recognised channels, like a committee. To this date they are refusing to obey this directive and my administration is lost on how to deal with their problems,” said Lombard.
Regarding a thatched hut that was set on fire, Lombardt alleged that his employees were responsible for the fire, but the employees, on the other hand, alleged that it was Lombard. One of the employees (name withheld) said she allegedly saw him committing this offence. In mitigation Lombard said he could pnot destroy his own entity.
The employees argued that he allegedly wanted to redirect focus from the problems using the fire.
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