Carlsberg Malawi tension brewing over pension

Instead of leading the company to greater heights, executive management at Carlsberg Malawi Limited are busy brewing, not beer but, trouble with their employees.

Sources at Africa’s only Carlsberg plant confided in Nyasa Times this week that they suspect some members of the executive management to have connived to rip them off their pension benefits.

But when contacted for comment Carlsberg said they are treating the issue as an internal matter.

Chanje (C): Not immedietely available for comment

This development was unearthed after one employee who served for over 30 years was told point blank by Carlsberg Malawi Head of Human Resources Sabit Sayed that he will not get any money after retirement because the new Pension Act.

“We found it strange that one could work for all these and then get nothing after service so when the colleague went to complain to labour authorities he was given his dues and that amazed us because then it means the money was there but management wanted to abuse it,” said one of the employees speaking on condition of anonymity.

But in a brief interview Saidi said he would not comment on the matter as it is internal and referred Nyasa Times to his Chief Executive Officer Abel Chanje who was not immediately available for comment.

However, the group of employees added that senior managers at Carlsberg Malawi work on three year contracts and don’t even care about employees’ welfare.

“We feel they want to short-change us on the pension money and we will strike if they don’t clear up these issues. They don’t care about our welfare since senior executives are on contracts,” said the sources.

After employees expressed their disappointment on the matter, Carlsberg Malawi management claimed that they received threats and issued an internal notice which is in Nyasa Times possession.

The notice advises on new security measures to all staff handling money and company resources and it furthers stresses that security for managers has been increased.

Currently the company has started a crash civic education programme on pensions in line with the new law for employees which is being done by Saidi during lunch hour.

Carlsberg Malawi is the holding company for Coca-cola Malawi, local spirit and whiskey producer-Malawi Distilleries Limited (MDL) and Southern Bottlers Limited (Sobo).

This is the second time Saidi has rubbed Carlsberg Malawi employees the wrong way after he used money won by staff from Coca-Cola headquarters (United States) meant to be shared equally for construction of a canteen.

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