Unionised workers at the Times of Zambia Workers in Ndola this morning downed tools demanding payment of salary arrears by management.
The workers who are owed up to eight months arrears have been angered by a plea from management to bear with them for the delay in paying salaries.
Management in a letter addressed to the workers said the company is facing liquidity problems as the money collected is not enough to meet all expenses such as salaries which take about 75 percent of total cash inflow per month.
Company Managing Director Beston Ng’onga said collection of money by debt collectors has been hard as most companies are facing serious liquidity problems adding that they are trying hard to meet their obligation to workers and with your support and patience will succeed.
“Let us see how much we collect by tomorrow, otherwise we will have no option but to implement batch payment. We are also proposing that money allowing we may have to pay you double salaries this month to avoid accumulating an arrear. this is just a proposal and depends on money collected”, the letter issued by Mr Ng’onga read in part.
Mr Ng’onga said in the meantime, workers must rally behind the union leaders as they also pursue the issue with IDC.
“Management has also engaged the president directly on the same issue. We pray something positive comes out of these engagement. the reality on the ground is that productivity has gone down and we only have one line of income generation, advertising, which is not enough to meet the wage bill for unionized workers of K900 000 on average per month”, he added.
Mr Ng’onga added that the company has bloated labour most of which is not productive but talk too much when it comes to salaries.
“You may insult me in whatever way but the fact is that the company is limping. Whoever takes over from me will face the same if we do not change our attitudes towards work. Remember, in the abundance of words, sin is not absent”, added the MD in a letter accessed by Lusaka Times.
“If you are not paid I am also not paid. So only a fool will want to delay salaries when that will also affect him”, he added.
Mr Ng’onga urged the work to work together with management as they fight for what belongs to them.
“United we will stand but divided we will fall. Enemies of Times of Zambia will always try to divide us so as to achieve their motives. Dont say you were not warned. Remember, every waiting is not in vain forgive us but let’s move together. insults will not solve the problems but combining our efforts”, he added.