By Tione Andsen – Mana.
A two day sit in staged at Mount Meru Millers in Dowa has exposed some labour inspection lapses within Ministry Labour.
The revelation was exposed when the Minister Responsible, Ken Kandodo visited the Company on Friday to appreciated what had necessity the sit in.
Striking Staff Representative told the Minister and entire delegation that the Company was exploiting them in a number of areas.
Most of the issues highlighted included, irregular salary segments, working as casual a labour for four years, no employment contracts, underpayment of overtime and duty allowances, lack of protective garments, poor sanitation, no transport and housing allowances among other things.
The Employees have been presenting their grievance to Human Resource Department but the Officer responsible was not referring them to management.
The grieved employees said most of the financial issues presented to Finance Director of the company were usually turned down even the provision of meals and procure of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in awake of Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
The absence of a legally constituted Workers Union among employees was a cause of concern as management is said not ready to allow it.
“We feel our management need to take tough stance on two officers within their management team. Finance Director and Humana Resources Officer need to be removal from their positions if the company is to progress,” one of the workers representative, Moses Ali hinted.
He said the sit in could have not happened if our grievances which were being put forwards to the two officers before.
Ali alleged that the company get special treat to foreign workers unlike the local in terms of salaries and benefits.
Kandodo told the workers representative that all issues presented would be looked into so that a solution should be found.
He noted some gap in information sharing and the employee’s lack of knowledge on labour issues which need to urgently address by management and Ministry Officials.
Principal Secretary in Ministry, Dr Esme Kainja faulted the Management of Mount Meru Millers for not providing adequate Covid-19 measures to its employees.
She said companies in company have a responsibility to ensure that their employees are always provided from the threat of Covid-19.
“We have seen the poster encouraging workers to wear masks but they are failing to provide them freely. I will to urge the management to critically review the issue before hand,” Kainja pointed out.
“I am very surprised that some of the issues the striking staffs have outlined are new to me. I have always encourage them to come to me if they are encountering problems,” Mount Meru Miller Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Michael Wayumbi lamented.
He assured that the issue about the two officers within their management would be resolved immediately.