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Hotel Selebi employees, management at loggerheads

SELEBI-PHIKWE: With only a few months in operation, Hotel Selebi has come under heavy criticism from employees who accuse management of ill-treatment and failure to honour their agreement the workers.

Speaking to Mmegi in an interview on condition of anonymity, the concerned workers slammed the hotel management for failing to pay them their overtime fees as well as deducting their salaries without their consent.

The workers also revealed that they are not entitled to maternity leave, adding that some of their colleagues were unfairly dismissed for airing their concerns.

“The working conditions here are unbearable. When we complain they do not take our concerns seriously and they just make decisions that affect us without any consultation.

We used to get our salaries through the bank, but now our accounts have been closed down without any communication,” one employee said.

The fuming employee added that they now get paid late, around the second of each month, through an envelope when they knock off at night, a thing he said jeopardises their safety.

He further highlighted that in June they reported the unfair treatment to the labour department, which visited the hotel to further investigate the matter.

He however, accused the labour officers of siding with the management as they promised to communicate the findings of the investigations with the workers, but they have not kept their promise.

“When we called them, they promised to get back to us, but we are still waiting till now. It is for this reason that we suspect that the management has bribed them to sweep the matter under the carpet,” the employee alleged. Dismissing the accusations, Hotel Selebi managing director Headman Murangi said none of the employees has raised those concerns with them before.

He however, confirmed that some employees reported them to labour department, highlighting that the matter

was for unpaid overtime only, which he said has now been rectified, adding that they have no pending cases with the department.

“As for the salary deductions, it was an adjustment to match their 26 working days as we have been paying them for 30 days,” he said. Murangi further explained that consultation was made prior to the decision, saying it might not have covered every employee.

In addition, he said the decision to stop paying them through the bank was a result of quarrels between the bank and the workers.

“We are the ones who opened those accounts for them, but we were fed up with the quarrels between the two parties, so we decided to stop using those accounts for salary payment. We did not close the accounts, as we have no authority over that. We just stopped using them following a verbal consultation,” Murangi said.

He further said all these accusations are just an excuse for people who do not want to do their job, noting that 55% of the employees were hired without any experience in hospitality.

“We are just trying to bring them to our desired standard to ensure quality customer service and they certainly mistaken the move for oppression,” he said.

Meanwhile the hotel’s director Shajeed Patel pointed out that the hotel employs about 40 people saying it takes time to compile their salaries and overtime payment hence the delay.

“Every extra hour worked for is recorded and paid for. Note that we pay for hours worked for only, not the ones spent outside waiting for the combi to take you home,” he said.




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