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Ngwenya Glass workers exposed to danger for a mere R2,500 monthly salary, Managing Director Chas Prettejohn says his office open to negotiations.

Friday, 1st September, 2023

NGWENYA: Chas Prettejohn, the Managing Director of the Ngwenya Glass says, he is open to negotiations with his employees, if they feel the two-thousand five hundred Rands(R2,500.00) monthly salary is not enough.

The Director was responding to questions from this Swaziland News on Friday afternoon, when asked to clarify why he was paying the workers, some who have already worked for close to ten(10) years a mere R2,500.00 monthly salary, despite the fact that, the workers were exposed to danger.

“It’s not true that we have employees who have worked close to ten(10) years but earning R2,500.00, that amount is paid to newly employed workers. I don’t understand why the employees reported this to you because my office is open for negotiations”, said the Ngwenya Glass Managing Director.

When asked to clarify if the workers were affiliated to a union and, how he engaged with the them, the Ngwenya Glass Managing Director confirmed that, the employees were not unionized adding that, he normally discusses issues of salaries with them, in their individual capacity.

“Every-month, I sit down with each employee to discuss issues of salaries, my office is open for engagements”, he said.

But, one of the employees told this publication that, the Director normally targets the employee who is leading and organizing the employees to negotiate collectively.

“When we try to come together and engage the Management as a collective, they identify the employee who is leading and negotiate with him/her just to disorganize us”, said the employee.

The Ngwenya Glass employee further accused the Management of not providing safety shoes thus exposing them to serious danger as they work with glasses.

Wander Mkhonza the Secretary General of the Amalgamated Trade Union Congress of Swaziland(ATUSWA) when asked to comment, he told this Swaziland News on Friday afternoon that, the Managing Director was not being honest by suggesting that it’s possible to negotiate with employees in their individual capacity.

“That’s why the principle of collective bargaining was adopted globally,to ensure that workers negotiate with employers as a collective. Otherwise, the employer will yield power and intimidate the employee during the negotiations. As a union, we will see what we can do,maybe, we must visit the workers and see how we can assist”, said the ATUSWA Secretary General.

Mkhonza described Ngwenya Glass as an internationally recognized company that attracts even tourists who buy the products, he urged the company to ensure that, the employees are well paid and taken care-off according to international labour laws.

“We normally see tourists there buying the products manufactured through the glasses, it cannot therefore, be fair for the employees who produce these products to earn ‘peanuts”, said the well-known unionist.

Ngwenya Glass workers exposed to danger for a mere R2,500 monthly salary, Managing Director Chas Prettejohn says his office open to negotiations.
Ngwenya Glass workers exposed to danger for a mere R2,500 monthly salary, Managing Director Chas Prettejohn says his office for negotiations.