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ABUSE IN THE WORKPLACE

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Sir,

Thank you for allowing me space in your newspaper to voice out my concern regarding the abuse in the workplace in this country. It is obvious that we all want money in order to survive but it sad that most employees in different organisations go through a lot of challenges including abuse which gives them so much stress.


We have workers in the textile industry, they claim to be working just like many of us but they cannot even to buy proper clothes for themselves or sustain the livelihoods of their families.


These people have to pay rent, buy food and pay for the transport of their children to school yet it is also hard to cope with the ever increasing prices of commodities and services.


Besides earning poor salaries, there are hundreds of employees who are harassed and victimised at work but they are forced to endure the pain and not bother to report because they fear that they would be victimised and further lose their jobs. Employees in most organization do not have the confidence to tell it like it is without fear and this is bad.


When will we ever have a workforce that will be confident enough to report every kind of abuse without fearing that someone will victimize them?
The sad part is that some of them even fear to open up to their own colleagues because it could put them in trouble.


 Yes there are instances where colleagues, instead of assisting them sell them and tell the bosses.
Employers need to understand that whenever an employee is victimized or feels some sort of abuse, they can no longer work effectively since they lose the motivation to work hard.


Such then affects their productivity and even if you take them to 20 disciplinary cases, it will not work until the act of abuse is dealt with.
Having said that, I understand that for the labour agencies and consultants to assist, there is a need to provide proof or substantiate the claims something which is difficult.


This is why most employers get away with it just like that.
For how long should workers be abused financially and physically?

Government needs to review the strategies and policies that are there to deal with issues of employees in any field. Government needs to be fully aware of the challenges that workers go through and it can achieve this by having more surveys done.


Time and again, even if it is twice year, officers should be deployed in companies and government departments to interview employees on how they are treated.


Yes, this would need resources but it can be done. When you read some of the standards set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) you ask yourself if they practically apply in Eswatini or are just mentioned during workshops and conferences alone.
The truth is that there is a lot of abuse in the workplace and something should be done.

Concerned Swazi

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