RCC workers hold CEO hostage

09 Apr 2015 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 09 APR (NAMPA) – Work at the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) came to a standstill on Thursday morning when employees held the company’s acting CEO hostage, demanding outstanding monies.
The RCC employees allegedly did not receive their full salaries on their last pay day - 26 March.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pieter Oosthuizen was on his way to a board meeting at TransNamib at around 09h00, but RCC employees refused to let him leave and locked him inside the building.
Oosthuizen is also the chairperson of the TransNamib board.
Members of the Namibian Special Field Force had to be called to the RCC offices to intervene.
The salary discrepancies reportedly followed the purchase of a new payroll system called ‘BuildSmart’, which was used for the first time last month to pay the salaries of the employees.
The system caused many errors, which included the double deduction of taxes, while some employees did not even get paid.
The new system also changed the job titles of many employees, with all divisions affected.
In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the chairperson of the RCC Board of Directors, Sonia Behr apologised for what transpired.
“It is fitting that we take responsibility as management and resolve this matter as soon as possible. We are working on this matter non-stop and as it stands, we expect to have all under-payments completed by Tuesday, 14 April 2015,” she said.
Behr noted that by 15h00 on Thursday, all payments would be uploaded and released to the banks.
“It will take the banks approximately two working days to process the payments, thus we expect the last payments to be done by latest Tuesday,” she added.
With regards to banking charges the employees might have incurred due to the errors, Behr said the company will obtain all relevant up-to-date information from the respective banking institutions to ensure RCC pays and settles the banking charges deducted.
“Corrected payslips will be printed and distributed today (Thursday) to all personnel. The RCC will issue an official letter to all banks to state that this oversight was the responsibility of RCC and this should not reflect negatively on the creditworthiness of the employees,” she stated.
Behr further promised the employees that the process would be concluded in the shortest possible time.