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PTC staff demand severance pay

NO PAY NO WORK—PTC workers captured Monday

By Isaac Salima:

A group of workers at People’s Trading Centre (PTC) Monday thronged the company’s headquarters in Blantyre demanding their severance pay following the sale of the company.

Press Corporation Limited (PCL) last week announced that it had sold its franchise, PTC, to Tafika Holdings Limited.

Following the development, the workers are asking the company to give them their severance pay and pension arrears before the new company takes charge.

“We are not sure about our future in the company; so, we have engaged the company to give us our severance pay so that we can decide whether to continue with the new company or not but management is yet to address us on the issue; hence the decision to gather at the head office,” Steven Bottoman, one of the workers who has been with the company for 21 years, said.

Another worker Yotamu Sopani said they would like the company to update them on their pension arrears accumulated as they have been hearing that the company has not been remitting the funds to pensioners.

PTC Chief Executive Officer Ferdinand Mchacha said they would consult on the issue.

“There was no plan to retrench anyone and this was communicated to the workers. In our plans, we would like to increase the number of shops not the other way round.

“Since we did not plan to retrench anyone, there was no plan for severance allowances to be paid. Now that these people have come with the issue, we will consult our lawyers and the Ministry of Labour for guidance,” Mchacha said.

Last week, PCL announced that it had sold 100 percent of its shares to a South African firm Tafika Holdings Limited following losses that the company had been registering which accumulated to K18 billion.

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