#Article (Archive)

A Case of Industrial Injustice

May 7, 2008, 7:08 AM

It is disheartening to learn that toiling employees of a hotel have not been paid salaries for up to about four months. With food prices on the rise on a daily basis, one cannot imagine how a family breadwinner could manage without his monthly salary, which in many cases is the only main means of survival.

Take the case of one of our today's front-page stories concerning the unpaid salaries of staff at Palm Beach hotel. According to our reporter who mounted an investigation into the matter, the proprietor, Mr Mboge, himself confirmed the allegation of owing his employees a total of four months salaries and that he was at the time negotiating with a particular bank to get an overdraft to pay his staff. But the question is what prevented Mr Mboge to take an overdraft on time in settling such arrears before things degenerated to this level. One can imagine the frustration of any employee in such a situation, which more often than not results in the downing of tools in protest, just as Palm Beach staff have done to drive home to the hotel's management the message that enough is enough. Interestingly enough all the proprietor concerned has to say is that the problem is a common one in many hotels. Fortunately or unfortunately this does not detract from the fact that it is unacceptable to keep someone working without paying for his services. It is rank injustice and, to say the least, insensitive.

When people are not properly remunerated or paid on time they can resort to other avenues like stealing as in the case of a school teacher who stole the money of his students reported in one of our last week editions.

We only hope that the matter would be quickly addressed, if only to serve as an eye opener to other hotels and institutions that are in the habit of not paying their staff on time.