The Sunday Mail
PROBLEMS continue to mount at the National Employment Council (NEC) for Engineering at a time when the council is struggling to stay afloat and is implementing cost-cutting measures while at the same time splushing thousands of dollars on salaries and loans. An accountant was recently hired and is getting US$5 000 per month while other junior managers and clerical staff are earning around US$500.
It has also been established that the accountant is likely to access a US$55 000 car loan before completing his probation period.
Other department managers have been promised car loans for several years without any joy.
Sources who preferred anonymity said the newly appointed accountant, Mr Francis Ruwona, is allegedly close to the organisation’s board chairman, Mr Ray Ndlukula, which could be part of a wider plot to protect questionable expenditure by the board.
Board members from NEWU and EEISAZ, sources said, have since clashed over the ‘‘fast-track’’ in awarding benefits to a new employee who is yet to pass his probation.
The latest development raises more stink at an organisation that largely thrives from members’ subscriptions. There are widespread fears that subscriptions are being abused to fund certain individuals’ lavish lifestyles. The aggrieved workers have since written to the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare and the Registrar of National Employment Councils (NECs) seeking dissolution of the board citing rampant corrupt. The organisation has long been implementing cost-cutting measures due to cash flow problems, but the recent hiring of a top-earning accountant has raised eyebrows.
“The hiring of new staff who earn far more than other workers is in contrast with the stance taken by the organisation to cut on expenditure.
“Designated agents and marketing staff are no longer paid travel allowances despite the fact that they will be using their own cars.
“This has adversely affected the finances of the organisation,” said a reliable source with the NEC for Engineering. Board chairman Mr Ndlukula recently refused to discuss the matter with this paper.
However, workers who spoke to The Sunday Mail Business privately for fear of victimisation made a passionate plea to Government to intervene and stop the rot.
“The Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare must intervene and dissolve the board before an interim management is appointed to save the organisation from total collapse,” said one of the workers.
The board stands accused of implementing cost-cutting measures which only affect workers while benefitting board members.
In a letter dated October 14 2013, the NEC for Engineering workers accuse the board of failing to deal with the case of the organisation’s chief executive officer, Mr Jeremiah Jaja, who was suspended in 2012 over corruption allegations.
Mr Jaja is still on the organisation’s payroll and has so far siphoned US$87 000 as the board dithers on finalising his case.
The board members are also said to be reluctant to pay the compulsory medical aid contributions for employees.