Encountered by the reality of workplace malpractice exposure, owners and some senior managers at Amaryllis Hotel have deployed blackmail tactics on employees to appear as if they have a clean record on service and operations management.
The development has created chaos, further hitting on employees productivity in service delivery.
All this comes in the wake of last week’s Nyasa Times publication about rampant workers abuse that have become a feature at the hotel. According to current and former employees, the abuses are dismissal of employees on a daily basis without proper procedure and harassment.
Some of the issues that have lead to instant dismissals are trying to get some fresh air after working in sweltering heat, going to the loo during working hours, having lunch or supper within the hotel structure, slight delays when reporting for duties, using the elevator when the bosses are in, while others have face the chop for trying to elaborate issues to bosses which is deemed rude.
Amaryllis Hotel Chief Executive Officer Yusuf Shiraz, is a local Managing Partner at Ernst & Young and his son Yusuf Shiraz Jnr. is the hotel’s general manager who convinced South Africa’s Food Lovers Market to become a franchise holder in addition to getting clients for the newly established hotel.
To shield themselves from the wrath of non-compliance to good business practices in the eyes of their local and international business partners and clients, the two, have been rounding up employees to have them sign a form under duress whose contents tries to deny the workplace abuses that the family has been directing at employees.
Employees say the owners have been raging mad and throwing fits on those hesitant or asking for more time before they sign the form. The say Amaryllis management intends to use signed forms as backup that all is well when questioned on the issue by authorities and interest groups.
A copy of the form accessed by Nyasa Times, shows that it is backdated to 24th March, 2020, a day prior to the exposure of the abuses.
“I acknowledge that at Amaryllis hotel, we are provided with the required benefits that include food during working hours, and that to the best of my knowledge there is no victimisation or intimidation of any kind within the organisation. I also acknowledge that I am not aware of any termination that has happened to employees,” part of the form reads.
The hotel’s employees say they have been issued with a warning that any of them who does not sign the form by Friday this week will be fired.
“They want us to sign something which to us is certifying a lie so that they can save their faces when Government officials and business partners question them about this issue. It is even worse that they are going the same route of threatening to fire us. It is blackmail,” the employees say.
They added that hotel management heavily discourages them from joining any workers’ union or forming one.
Malawians in the city have called upon authorities and rights groups to swiftly take up the issue.
“Yes the country needs investors to create jobs and earn a share of business on the international market, however, issues of workers abuse and dismissals based on flimsy excuses coming from the new hotel must never be entertained. This is what both the civil society, yes these national workers unions plus popular rights groups, and Malawi government should address. We are talking of people’s lives here,” said Kondwani Malunga a Blantyre resident.
Since its official launch some months ago, the confirmed figure for dismissed employees at Amaryllis Hotel is now over 120.
When the issue emerged last week, newly appointed Minister of Labour, Skills and Innovation Honourable Lilian Patel assured workers in Malawi that their rights are there to be protected at all times but asked for more time to specifically address the Amaryllis Hotel issue.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :