“I had been working for Magies Farm for nine years until COVID-19 lockdown,” said Lanseria resident Tebogo Mashitwa, speaking alongside her former work mates who were protesting the way they lost their jobs.
“In April, our boss told us that she was unable to pay us, and we had to get paid through Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).She promised to pay us for three-month notice. However, we only received salary for two months. What we need to understand now is why we did not receive our salaries for all three months as promised. We feel unfairly treated, and life is very tough at the moment.”
The former workers claimed that their boss automatically retrenched them after they had refused to work three days a week. They also said it was difficult to work for their boss as she was somehow abusive to them.
“We approached the Bargaining Council to get some help. However, we never got any help,”Mashitwa said.
“The amazing part is that some people got hired soon after we got retrenched,” said Prisca Thusi, who worked for the company for the past seven years. “We have been attending several meetings with the boss, but we do not have any clarity about the situation. She says we owe her, instead. We really want clarity about the situation. She gave us retrenchment letters, which we cannot understand.”
“Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are no longer able to keep you in employment,” reads part of the Termination of Employment letter, which was issued on 29 April 2020. “We will give you one month notice pay for the month of May. You will not be required to report for duty over this notice period,” reads the letter.