By Gugu Simelane | 2017-11-08
SEC management finally bent to the demands of striking Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) workers by agreeing they be paid their bonuses.
This effectively means the two-day strike that left devastating inconveniences has been called off.
SEC management announced that the payment of the 2016/2017 performance bonus has been approved.
The strike which started Monday, entered day two yesterday and it was meant to enter day three today.
The bone of contention between the employer and the employees is the delay in the payment of the 2016/2017 performance bonus which the company has since committed to pay.
Last night, the SEC management sent out a press statement announcing that the company’s operations are expected to return to normal. The management pleaded with the employees to resume work at their respective work-stations as of last night.
This comes after SEC employees yesterday refused to back down but continued to defy the court order issued on Sunday and engaged in an illegal strike, costing the company millions of Emalangeni.
So determined were the employees that they also failed to take heed to SESMAWU’s National Executive Committee’s (NEC) advise to abandon the strike action and return to work to avoid being in contempt of court.
SEC employees from all the depots in the country yesterday braved the cold weather and again gathered at the Stonehenge depot which is located just below the SEC headquarters as early as 9am.
The employees had the aim of going back to the headquarters to see management so to pressure them to fast-track the process so they can receive their bonuses.
The employees were stopped from marching to the headquarters.
SEC employees are unionised under the Swaziland Electricity Supply Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (SESMAWU).
Yesterday, employees had vowed not to abandon the strike action until the 2016/17 bonuses are paid. The employees dubbed their illegal strike as “Waya waya”.
The strike action resulted in a number of areas in the country experiencing power blackouts for hours on end.
“Management would like to extend appreciation to all who have assisted to have this matter resolved amicably and speedily. We also wish to thank our employees for their patience and co-operation as the approval was being sought from the relevant stakeholders,” reads the statement.
The company sent an apology to all its customers who had been without power during the difficult times.
“We would like to assure them that the company will do everything practically possible to have the situation normalised within the shortest time possible.
“ We plead with our customers to continue to bear with us as we restore the electricity network, a process which might take a while considering that the outages countrywide had risen to unprecedented levels,” reads the statement.
The statement further encouraged customers to report outages and any other electricity related issues to the Call Centre on 800 9000 (toll-free line) or 2508 3333 (standard rates apply).
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