WORKERS at Group Four (G4) security company in Lusaka yesterday downed tools demanding the removal of their director of operations Sydney Odoi on allegations of intimidating them and flouting Zambian labour laws.
The workers, who locked the gate to the main entrance at their headquarters on Mukwa Road in the heavy industrial area, prevented customer and vehicles from accessing the premises.
As early as 07:30 hours, placard-carrying security guards gathered outside the main gate chanting anti-Mr Odoi slogans.
They complained that mr. Odoi had the habit of intimidating workers and that under his reign many employees had been fired without genuine reasons.
One worker accused Mr. Odoi of overriding the powers of the company human resource officer by firing employees who complain about conditions of service.
“Mr. Odoi is always intimidating and firing workers who complain about some conditions of service. He has overridden the powers of the human resource personel in this company,” he said.
Other workers said they would not go back to work until Mr. Odoi was removed from his position.
They wondered where he was getting powers from to flout Zambian labour laws.
They said since he joined the company four years ago, employees were no longer given transport allowance and that a penalty fee of K60 had been introduced for one day absenteeism.
“This man has made our lives miserable, with his coming we are no longer paid transport allowance and a penalty fee of K60 has been introduced on our meager salaries for absenteeism even if you have a problem.
‘‘We are wondering who gives him the right to flout our labour laws,” one of the workers said. The workers further complained that Mr. Odoi had been boasting that only a crane would move him out of Zambia.
“He has been saying that only a crane will remove him from Zambia but today we have become the cranes and we are going to see to it that he is removed,” another worker said.
Some workers claimed that they were getting as low as K450 monthly salary when the minimum wage had been pegged at K1, 200 per month.
When reporters were allowed access to the premises to talk to management, company human resource director Mabvuto Daka said union representatives sent to negotiate for better conditions of service were chased by workers at the gate.
He said it would only be prudent for workers to forward their grievances and table them to management through selected representatives.
“All the allegations they are raising can only be tackled if we sit down and talk with their representatives but they have chased union officials at the gate so this makes negotiations difficult,” he said.
When asked the measures the company had put in place to render services to clients, Mr. Daka said they were working out something.