Workers at a Bulawayo firm are being forced to clean up their boss’s human excreta without protective clothing.
Those that have refused have been sacked at Bulk Commodities Private Limited owned by Pakistani Salman Shahzad and family Some of the fired workers have taken up their cases with the National Employment Council (NEC).
“I was instantly fired after I refused to clean my boss’ mess. What happened on the day I was fired was that my boss, after using the toilet, ordered me to clean the toilet he had messed up. It was not that they were not familiar with the procedures of using the toilet but it was just a way of frustrating us and then fire us without giving us our money,” said an employee who had previously cleaned after her boss.
“When I told him that I had been doing it for a long time despite the fact that it was not part of my job description he subsequently fired me without any benefits. One of the workers who also preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation said their bosses were ill-treating them and threatened them with dismissal if they refused to clean up their excreta.
“We are being mistreated by our bosses. They are forcing us to clean up their excreta including removing used up toilet papers without protective clothing. If you refuse, you risk being fired.
An NEC official Patrick Ndlovu confirmed receiving reports of the alleged abuse, although he was not at liberty to comment on the issue of cleaning up the excreta. “Yes we are handling a case of former Bulk Commodities employees who approached our office claiming they were unfairly dismissed. They have
raised a string of allegations against their former employer which we are still looking into.
“Those who are currently employed are not in a position to say anything pertaining to the alleged ill-treatment in fear of losing their jobs”, said Ndlovu.
When B-Metro visited the company on Tuesday afternoon, reporters could not talk to the manager Salman Shahzad as he was said to be in a meeting. His brother Imlany said all questions should be referred to their lawyer Nqobani Sithole.
Sithole however, refused to comment saying he was attending a funeral. He however, said Imlany was in a position to answer all the questions.
Prodded to comment Imlany said, “The case is being handled by the NEC so there is nothing I can tell you. The authorities are sorting it out and we should let the authorities do their job so there is nothing I can really say.”