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Press Corporation Limited, Peoples Trading Centre staff tussle

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Press Corporation Limited (PCL) Thursday obtained an injunction restraining Peoples Trading Centre (PTC) employees from holding vigils at the group’s head offices in Blantyre.

The employees have been demonstrating since Friday to force the conglomerate to reverse its decision to sell PTC to Tafika Holdings.

An injunction which we have seen indicates that the demonstrations pose a reputational and security risk to the conglomerate and its staff.

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It adds that there is a risk to two other tenants housed in PCL House.

“In the meantime, the claimants (Press Corporation Limited and PCL House) are applying for an interim injunction from the court to prevent the defendants (PTC employees) from being a nuisance and from further violating the claimants’ rights to privacy, economic freedom as well as the right to enjoyment of property,” reads the injunction.

One of the staff members we spoke to, Lloyd Mkula, said they will respect the court order but vowed to continue the push until the decision is reversed.

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“Tafika Holdings will not honour its pledge; therefore, we want the deal to be reversed so that PCL gives us our benefits so that we engage in other income generation endeavours and we will never stop until that has happened,” he said.

Meanwhile, our spot checks in Blantyre Thursday afternoon found that almost all PTC outlets were shut, except for a few where employees were selling remaining commodities at reduced prices.

Peoples Trading Centre was, in February this year, sold to Tafika Holdings at a price of K6 billion and Tafika Holdings assumed all the PTC shares including liabilities.

The move has faced resistance from PTC employees, who believe the sale will not help the growth of the company.

Tafika Holdings this week said in a statement that the closure of the shops is part of its strategy to resuscitate the company from its current condition of loss making.

PTC is one of the country’s oldest chain store companies with footprints across the country.

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