DHL Zambia has been accused of employing people without contracts, racism and giving top jobs to foreigners at the expense of local professionals.
DHL is probably the leading logistics company in Zambia with fifteen offices in the country.
The Watchdog has been informed that all top positions at DHL are held by white South Africans, some of them with questionable qualifications and entry permits.
The company has also been accused of retaining more than half the work force without contracts.
And the latest development shows that DHL has been forced to award workers 0.05 per cent salary increment following an exposure that the salaries had not been reviewed in the past five years.
Things got out of hand last week when an anonymous letter was circulated to all DHL workers in their official emails.
The letter claimed that ‘this Boer led management has decided to casualise our jobs to an extent that most of us have been working without contracts”.
The letter stated that “as a result some of our friends have been fired in unexplained circumstances because they have no document to protect them. Today we fear for our jobs because the man who should be an MD has decided to assume the role of HR to be hiring and firing almost every day without regard whatsoever to the LAWS of the land.”
“Today we can’t even access loans at the banks to better our lives because half of us in the company are working without contracts. They have even abolished salary advance arrangement. How do we survive?” asked the author of the letter.
Referring to the Managing Director Erlo Van Linde, the writer of the letter said, “he seems to still be in the apartheid era to an extent that he favours the white skin/light skin. This is why he had to bring his deputy a South African and disguise him as a services/operations manager. Not to mention an Indian little girl he has just hired as the finance manager a position which is too senior for her.
The Watchdog ha been informed that this letter was circulated to workers on Saturday but workers only saw it on Monday because DHL has a dedicated server whereby workers can’t access their official emails outside DHL premises.
On Monday May 17, the managing director Erlo Van Linde called for a ‘general meeting at the head office in Rhodespark at 18 hours.
During the meeting, Linde claimed to workers that he didn’t know that some people were laboring without contracts.
He said Human Resource office didn’t tell him that there was a crisis of this nature.
Then he promised that workers without contracts will sign contracts within 2 weeks.
On salaries he claimed that he has been in the position for only a year and could not take responsibility for all the years when salaries were not revised. He however claimed that from the time he came from South Africa to take up this position, he had been fighting for salary increments for workers.
He said that a week before the meeting, his area MD in Johannesburg, phoned him and confirmed that what he had been fighting for, had been approved.
In the meeting, he promised that the following day, workers will all receive letters stating salary increments.
On Tuesday, the letters were given to workers. But to the shock of workers the increment was 0.05 per cent. In actual amount this was to most workers around K50, 000. (Fifty thousand Zambian Kwacha).
The Watchdog has also been informed that the most senior position held by a Zambian is marketing manager.
Sources explained that during the credit crunch, the position of Service manger was frozen but the new MD brought in his friend Roy Haustles from South Africa and offered him the same position which is essentially number two in command.
The positions of IT manger and deputy were also held by Zambians before credit crunch but have since been filled by foreigners after the original officer bearers were retrenched.
The DHL office in Zambia is controlled by the regional office in South Africa and the Managing Director is hired by the regional office.