By Isaac Salima
Illovo Sugar Company plc has retrenched 327 members of staff from its security departments at Nchalo and Dwangwa estates.
Illovo Communications and Stakeholder Relations Manager Olive Kawelama said this is part of restructuring their security department.
“The company has been operating under a blended model with both in house and outsourced security staff. In order to gain efficiencies, the company embarked on the restructuring of its security department which culminated in a project to outsource the security function in order to achieve an acceptable level of efficiency, productivity and standardisation in security through the use of professional security organisations,” Kawelama said in a response to a questionnaire.
Kawelama added that a total of 418 security personnel were affected.
She, however, said the company was able to find alternative placements within the existing business for 91 people.
However, some of those retrenched told The Daily Times that they had not been prepared for the job loss.
“Some of us obtained bank loans knowing that we had a job and have been caught unawares by the development. We have not benefitted from the severance pay because it will end up being deducted to service the bank loan,” one of the retrenched employees, who did not want to be identified, said.
But Kawelama claimed that Illovo carried out proper consultations prior to the retrenchment and gave the people relevant notice, in line with company policy and legal requirements.
Commenting on the loans issue, Kawelama said that the loans were obtained by the employees in their individual capacities “on terms that were agreed between the banks and themselves,” she said.