Enraged industrial class workers at the Francistown City Council (FCC) last week downed their tools and demanded the City Clerk, Kutlwano Matenge, to sack his unproductive subordinates.
The workers presented their grievances, which centred on delayed leave payments that have been pending since December last year, to the City Clerk.
“We are tired of some of your officers treating us like animals and giving us an attitude. It is more than four months and whenever we demand our leave payments, your officers give us an attitude and they are rude. You need to fire them because they are unproductive,” said unhappy workers.
They pointed an accusing finger at the council’s deputy treasurer, Patience Ramatebele, whom they blamed for being uncooperative and rude. They accused her of treating them with indifference and negative attitude.
The workers warned Matenge that should he fail to fire his unproductive staff, he would be bound to shoulder the blame for the poor delivery of services as the council’s chief executive officer.
“You should consider the fact that your subordinates are tarnishing your image and the image of the city council due to their poor work ethics,” said the striking workers.
They also complained against the way grievances were being handled by their principals and lack of transparency on some of the decisions that were taken alleging that almost everything is done behind closed doors.
“Our major complaint is that most of the issues concerning us are discussed behind closed doors without our involvement,” the workers said.
Responding to their complaints, Matenge acknowledged the delay of their leave payments, adding that sometimes it is only that the officers are overwhelmed which normally leads to delays.
He pleaded with the workers to forgive any wrong doers, saying that they should develop a spirit of forgiveness.
“I fully understand your grievances, but I would like to plead with you to forgive any of the colleagues who did you any wrong and mistreated you. I will investigate such incidents and will do my best to ensure that such misconducts do not happen in the future,” Matenge promised.
He assured the workers that their leave pay would have been paid off by Monday and commended them for coming forward to air their grievances in a bid to commencing dialogue as way of resolving the problems.
Ramatebele has, however, refused to comment on the accusations levelled against her by the striking employees.