Employees of People’s Trading Centre (PTC) on Thursday petitioned government to intervene on their challenges, including non-payment of June salaries, following the sale of their company to Tafika Holdings by previous shareholder Press Corporation plc.
The employees are demanding their salaries for June, severance pay, leave pay and pension, among other things, which they say neither Press Corporation nor the new investor is committing to give them.
They presented their petition through Lilongwe district commissioner Lawford Palani who promised to forward it to the Ministry of Trade and Industry before close of business the same day.
But PTC Limited and Tafika Holdings board chairperson Arson Malola on Thursday dismissed the employees’ case, arguing that while Tafika Holdings bought PTC from Press Corporation, the workers’ employment contracts with PTC were still intact.
He said there is no need for them to worry about the payments mentioned because at this stage, no one is being retrenched.
Said Malola: “I even told the employees soon after acquisition of PTC that if for any reason there is going to be a need for retrenchment, which we have not opted for yet, we are going to do it in a voluntary manner.”
Press Corporation acting chief executive officer Lyton Chithambo said the sale of PTC to Tafika Holdings was finalised and legally Tafika Holdings are the new owners of PTC as a company, as such, Press cannot be held liable for any more transactions after the deal was sealed.
Earlier this month, PTC management asked Press Corporation and Tafika to vary the sale and purchase agreement of the franchise to pave the way for staff contracts termination.
PTC chief executive officer Ferdinand Mchacha made the proposition in a discussion paper dated July 4 2022 in which he says staff should be given their terminal benefits.
Conglomerate Press Corporation plc early this year disposed of its 100 percent stake in the struggling retail chainstore to Tafika Holdings Limited.
As part of the transaction, Press Corporation took over K12.5 billion of the liabilities while Tafika Holdings Limited inherited about K6 billion of the debts in lieu of the purchase price.