Tendy Three Investments (TTI), the company managing the Bulawayo City Council (BCC)’s vehicle parking system, has been accused of unfair labour practices by some of its former employees who claim they were dismissed without terminal benefits, among other grievances.
TTI former employees who spoke to Pindula News allege that the company terminated their contracts without giving reasons and were denied their terminal benefits. They also accuse the company of nepotism in employing marshalls.
One of the aggrieved former employees who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity said:
TTI terminated employees that worked from February to November  and said they were not entitled to any benefits.
The company said at first we were working for a South African Company that was using Quick Park and it took everything to South Africa including the employees’ contracts. Smart Park, which is originally owned by TTI started in August.
The former TTI employee said despite signing contracts, they were verbally dismissed, with the company saying it was not in a position to renew the contracts, but did not give reasons for the move.
Another TTI former employee who also asked not to be identified for this report said he worked for the company from March to November 2022. He said:
The thing is as for me I worked for the company from March 2022 to November 2022. They had told us that prior to terminating our contracts, we will be given two weeks’ notice, which we did not get.
We woke up going to work as usual, only to be told to remove our jackets and get to their offices by Fidelity. We sat there for almost two hours before being attended to.
When [the human resources manager] came she told us they were terminating the contracts and most of those whose contracts were terminated are the pioneers.
He said they started demanding an explanation from the company’s management, but were moved from pillar to post. Added the ex-worker:
The [managing director] told us to engage the human resources manager but she said she was waiting for the accountant.
The accountant claimed she was waiting for HR to give her their names. This continued until the human resources manager went on maternity leave, leaving Melissa [Mabeza] acting in her capacity.
That was when the story changed to “you are not entitled to any benefits”.
Not entitled to benefits
The former TTI employee added that they kept on pushing the company’s management for an explanation, saying from their response, it seemed as if they had worked for two different companies. He said:
We kept on pressing because we wanted to know why she said a person is entitled to benefits if he or she has worked for 9 months. She said the first three months were probation.
During the other months, we were using the EDO system which was the tagging system and Quick Park took back their gadgets and introduced the Smart Park which is being used now.
It looks like we were working for two companies because when we asked for contracts we signed in March when we started working for TTI, she said the contracts were taken by the South African company.
Another issue that was raised by the former employees was deductions from their salaries meant for their National Social Security Authority (NSSA) contributions. Said another former employee:
The other thing on my payslip – NSSA has been deducting money but when I went to check with NSSA, I discovered that I was registered in September. So now I wonder where my money was going all along.
Mabeza, however, denied allegations of unfair labour practices, saying they always give their employees two weeks’ notice before terminating their contracts. She told Pindula News:
Our employee contracts are not terminated without notice. We give them a week’s notice. When we did not give them notice, it was during the festive season.
We did not terminate the contracts and we then gave them one-month contracts so that we can evaluate their performance again.
We have never terminated contracts without notice only to those who come for hearings and are found wanting that’s when we terminate contracts.
Mabeza also claimed that TTI has been up to date with NSSA contributions and where there are delays, it is not their fault. She said:
With NSSA, we are up to date with our payments but they are the ones responsible for updating our employees in their system though I’m not blaming them.
We have a fixed-term contract so we have people coming in and out frequently so the updating part might take long.
She said was it preposterous to accuse TTI of nepotism in the hiring of marshalls saying all employees are engaged on merit. Said Mabeza:
There is no favouritism or nepotism at TTI as most of our employees are not related to anyone in the company.
… It is highly expected to have complaints when people don’t have their contracts renewed because of their performance.
They don’t see where they lack and how they should improve because when we don’t renew a contract at that moment we are simply saying ‘go and evaluate yourself and you can re-apply’.
As a company, we have even reduced the number of qualifications and requirements to accommodate everyone.
However, the former TTI employee believes their contracts were terminated because they always fought “oppression”.
He said the contracts were terminated when they had held a workers’ committee meeting.