• August 10th, 2020

Ward assistants accuse employer of exploitation

Hospital ward assistants working for a South African owned company, Palmo Enterprise in Katima Mulilo expressed dissatisfaction and anger due to alleged mistreatment by their employer.
Palmo Enterprise based in Katima Mulilo and Windhoek, supplies food to hospitals and they are registered under the Ministry of Health and Social Services. A worker who requested anonymity complained of working overtime since August last year but was not being paid for the extra work.

“We are working in a hostile environment and despite the work we do, our company refuses to pay us overtime and our salaries are minimal,” said the worker, adding that their complaints have in the past fallen on deaf ears. The employee who has been working for the company since 2013 gets paid a basic salary of N$1800 which she said could barely sustain her and her family as she needs to pay for food, rent, transport, school fees, buy water and electricity and to pay for medical services.

She said the situation has become unbearable after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they are forced to work abnormal hours with no overtime payment. The workers are deployed at the state hospital in Katima Mulilo where they assist patients. “No matter how many times we raised our concerns, they threatened us and told us to resign if we could not do the work,” said the employee.

New Era spoke to another employee who also confirmed the situation. “We also experience the imbalance of payment between white and black employees and the situation keeps getting worse every year. We do not know who our employer is and our union representative does nothing to help us.”
 They pleaded with the ministry of health to look into their plight as a matter of urgency.
Several attempts to get comment from the workers’ supervisor were in vain.
– ashikololo@nepc.com.na

Aletta Shikololo
2020-04-17 10:30:03 | 3 months ago

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