SIKHUPHE: Life is literally a struggle for cleaners employed by The Specialist here at King Mswati International Airport, they were allegedly paid a mere E100,00 during the lockdown hence they decided to down tools today in demand for better salaries.
Bazil Tfwala, the Secretary General (SG) of the Eswatini Transport and Allied Workers Union (ETAWU) said the company decided to cut salaries for workers despite receiving full payment from the Eswatini Civil Aviation Authority(ESWACAA) for cleaning services rendered.
“At the beginning of the lockdown, the company applied for lay-offs, we challenged that at the Industrial Court and an order stopping the lay-offs was granted. The company then took the matter to the High Court for the order to be reviewed, as we speak the matter is still pending in court. However, the company then decided to unlawfully cut salaries for its workers based at the airport yet it received full payment from ESWACAA. Their salaries were cut by 50 %, now the workers are earning E 700.00 instead of their normal pay which is E1400.We took this matter to the Ministry of Labour where it got stuck up to this day”, said the Secretary General.
One of the workers interviewed by this publication said the company’s Human Resources Manager Friday Mdluli summoned them to a disciplinary hearing next week Wednesday for engaging in a strike action.
“During the Lockdown we received salaries from as little as E 100.00 up to about E 400.00 and in October when the lockdown was eventually eased, we hoped to earn our salaries in full but to our surprise they were cut by 50%" said the employee.
When reached for comments, Friday Mdluli the Human Resources Manager at The Specialist requested for a physical meeting with this journalist.
Mthunzi Shabangu, the Commissioner of Labour at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security said he was not aware of the matter.
“I can only recall the matter involving lay-offs, the issue of salaries has not reached my office but we released the COVID-19 contingency measures which are guidelines for companies. The workers should report the matter to my office so we can ascertain if the procedure was followed when the company was implementing the employment contingency measures”, he said.
Cleaners at King Mswati International Airport