Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) employees at Limbe Auction Floors in Blantyre sealed offices on Monday.
One of the workers confided in The Daily Times that they took that course of action to force management to pay them salaries for two months— September and October.
The source said, two weeks ago, management assured them that they would get their pay within three working days through their bank accounts but the promise had not materialised.
According to some employees, some of the workers belonging to specific grades got their salaries on Monday, which was a repeat of the September scenario when the same group of employees got paid.
“The whole of last week, we have been pressing our management to tell us the truth but they have been giving us empty promises.
“On Thursday they promised us that, by the end of business on Friday (last week), everybody would receive their salary but, up to now (Monday), that has not happened,” the employee said.
Meanwhile, the employees have also written the Office of the Ombudsman to intervene in issues affecting them.
Ombudsman Martha Chizuma acknowledged receiving communication from the employees, further indicating that there were some issues raised by the workers that would be looked into by the office but some of them were for other responsible authorities.
AHL spokesperson Tereza Ndanga said the company’s stand remains that it acknowledges the hardships that employees are facing and that, in previous engagements with staff members, management indicated that it would start paying them on Monday.
“Management would want to see this matter being resolved as soon as possible and the engagements with our financiers are being undertaken within that understanding. Our employees have to be patient,” she said.
In one of its memos to its employees, the tobacco trader informed employees that their September salaries would be delayed due to some delays in its subsidiary companies.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.