Tsumeb businessman and constituency advisor Gottlieb Ndjendjela has received a lot of criticism of his recruiting agency, which allegedly takes a large chunk of the income earned by workers who are placed by the company in retail outlets.
His agency, known as Employees Placement Services Namibia CC (EPSN), is the intermediary between employers and employees. He is now the subject of damning criticism and is branded as an operator to steal workers’ wages because he also pays the wages.
This has now opened a box of worms, with many claiming that Ndjendjela’s company scammed them because they demand a certain percentage of wages before paying employees.
“The existence of this company has created problems between the real employer and its employees who feel like they are poorly paid, when in reality they are providing a substantial amount, which is then divided,” said Affirmative Repositioning (AR) Activist of the movement John Johannes.
“This arrangement colonizes our people because our people are subject to low wages. This is why we are seeing many layoffs because the employers do not have a direct relationship with the employees. Also, they (the companies) have nothing to say about salaries, because they see it as a private or personal arrangement between the EPSN and the employee, knowing that they have provided reasonable remuneration.
Ndjendjela, who became a city councilor following last year’s regional council elections, confirmed ownership of the company last week but was quick to say everything was fine.
He blamed political gadgets for the attention paid to the business and promised to clarify the matter. But, he did not keep his promises, despite several attempts to follow up.
On Friday, AR released a statement in which they detailed a contractual relationship between EPSN and the Choppies retail stores.
“We have identified that the root cause of the labor relations calamity at Choppies is an employment agency called EPSN, owned by Councilor Ndjendjela. He acts as an intermediary, ”AR activist Benedick Louw said in a statement.
Louw added that they faced Choppies Outapi, where there were manpower issues.
“Employees work 12 hours without overtime, six days a week, without social security benefits and without pay slips. The employees earn N $ 9 per hour, while the slave labor company of capitalist Gotty pays them N $ 7.50, “he said.
Additionally, he said, Choppies agreed to terminate ESPN’s contract with immediate effect.
“We will wait for their official announcement. We are therefore sending a general warning to all retail establishments in Namibia to immediately end the slavery and exploitation of workers in industry, as those who perpetuate the suffering of workers will be treated in result.