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Furore as Hi-Fi Corp suspends workers

MPHO MOKWAPE
The corporation has reported suspended a number of workers
Leading audio-visual retailer, Hi-Fi Corporation finds itself in the eye of a storm of accusations by disgruntled workers after it suspended several of them for allegedly being caught with their hands in the till.

The company suspended eight workers recently, all of them cashiers and women, after accusing them of pilfering from its tills.  All the affected workers are based at Hi-Fi Corporation’s sole branch in Gaborone, at Riverwalk Mall.

According to one of the letters of suspension, the action is with full pay and immediate effect. “Your services with the company will be suspended pending the conclusion of investigations in certain allegations of misconduct,” reads the letter.

“Should you, for any reason whatsoever, fail to comply with the instructions contained herein, this may result in further action being taken against you, which may include dismissal.”

Workers said the latest actions were the culmination of a ‘battlefield’ atmosphere at the company, with workers “feeling constantly threatened with dismissal”.

Sources within the Gaborone branch, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said only one worker was caught taking money from the till. Workers

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said management had used the incident to conduct a witchhunt of other targetted workers, in an act they described as ‘bullying’.

“I was not on duty that day when apparently one cashier was caught stealing, but still I got suspended. I believe the theft had nothing to do with me or my other colleagues,” one worker said.

She explained that after the theft was recorded, workers were forced to write statements about what happened which many refused to do, as they were not present at the time of  the incident.

The workers accused management of unfair practices and even plotting to fire them.

Reached for comment, branch manager Modiri Botsang declined to comment on the allegations, saying he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Botsang referred Mmegi to Hi-Fi’s South African headquarters who were unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts to contact them.



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