The staff from Mamelodi working for the party shop and pop-up Christmas shop in Pretoria is complaining about long unpaid working hours. The owner of the two shops force her staff to work from 9am to 7pm. ” We only get 30 minutes lunch and is not enough, we don’t have tea breaks but just when we go to the bathroom”, said one of the staff members. The staff says other employees were sacked for complaining about their working hours and little money. According to the staff two people were sacked and one left within a period of two weeks and the other got a job somewhere else. One of the workers took the owner to court. It is not yet know what were the results. Others are planning to leave the shop by the end of the month. “I’m staying because I have no where else to work, I need money and I need to live. She’s always shouting at us and her words are hurtful, we don’t get pay slips when we get paid, we don’t get paid for working over time and we suspect that the shop is not registered. The customers also complained to her about how she’s treating us but she never stopped”, said one of the other staff members. The owner when she was shouting at one of the staff member mentioned that she doesn’t care about what other shops do, if the don’t do their work they are wasting their time and life. She said that her shop is not just a shop and workers shouldn’t just work for money they need to take their job seriously.
I don’t understand how someone let her employees to work 13 days without a day off because “is December and it get’s to busy” so she says. I mean according to the law, you should work 45 hours a week and I believe that working over times they should be paid for. The staff should at least get an hour break or lunch, 30 minutes is nothing. Something really has to be done about this shops. We can let other people get away with exploiting their stuff and reason being that they pay them. I can’t even call this a pay.
The staff works for 10 hours a day for 13 days and earn R 2500 and on December they get plus or minus R 500 bonus of which I believe it should be their pay. I wonder why we have a lot of young people siting at home with no jobs some of them are avoiding such things, a lot of crime in the country and even corruption because we let people like this to get away with it. This is not how people should be treated. Not only shops but also restaurants who doesn’t pay their staff wages and expect them to live off tips I mean really, how much will you be making out of a tip! Personally I’m disgusted of what is happening around us and unfortunately I come across this things when I work for my holidays. It pains me more because I don’t know what to do about it and I hate seeing it!
I suggest we don’t support such businesses reason being that the more we support them the more they don’t see anything wrong about it. For some of them who are ignorant they will keep on doing it.
By: Fortunate Machaba