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Fresh tussle between PTC owners, workers

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KAMTUKULE—The problem I see is poor communication

Tafika Holding Limited (THL), the new owners of PTC, has revealed plans to reopen two shops, one in Blantyre at the Northgate Arcade and another in Lilongwe.

But PTC workers say they will not return to work until their four-month salary arrears are settled.

This came out Wednesday morning in ‘Kulinji’ programme on Times Radio.

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THL Chief Executive Officer Arson Malola said the firm plans to reopen the outlets to generate funds for settling arrears for both the employees and the creditors.

“Those arrears date back to two or three years ago. We have applied for reorganisation of the company and we are waiting for the court’s determination which will either be an order for reorganisation or liquidation of the company.

“Once we open we will generate cash and we will pay them their monthly salaries while they work but also provide them with transport allowances. Then we will generate funds we will use to settle the arrears over time. Unless PTC operates, they will not be able to get the salaries,” Malora said.

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One of the workers, who opted for anonymity, said the staff will not resume work until they are paid their dues.

A senior management member at PTC, who did not want to be named, confirmed plans to open the shops but said it was an impossible task, especially without any money to put in.

“With the current stalemate with suppliers of stocks, challenges with staff salary arrears for four months and the absence of electricity, reopening stores may not be that easy,” said the source.

Contributing during the programme, Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule reiterated that her ministry has engaged THL and previous owners of the company, Press Corporation Limited, to map the way forward.

“The problem I see in this issue is poor communication between the owners and the employees. Further we expected THL to engage us to ensure that the employees are not affected in this deal,” Kamtukule said.

The company has 615 employees seeking their salary arrears.

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