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Jonsson Manufacturing cushions workers

MATHATISI SEBUSI

MASERU – Jonsson Manufacturing company has made a once-off payment to its 4 024 employees as a way to support them during the lockdown. Jonsson Manufacturing Managing Director Anton Baker explained to Public Eye that the employees have been grouped into two pre-determined categories based on their length of employment, which is either less than six months or more than six months. He said 3,721 employees who have been working for the company for more than six months will each get M1,000 while 303 who have been with the firm for less than six months will receive M500 each. “In order to assist staff and alleviate their financial burden during this lockdown, Jonsson Manufacturing will make an unprecedented once-off payment to each of its employees.

“The employees have been grouped into two pre-determined categories based on their length of employment, which is either less than six months or more than six months. Up to 3,721 workers that have more than six months’ service will be receiving M1,000 and 303 workers who have been with the firm for less than six months will be receiving M500,” Baker said.

On 25th March 2020 when the company closed due to the lockdown, it gave every staff member a gift of a 12,5kg bag of Moja maize meal. However, the company remains concerned that many of its employees may experience financial difficulties in May 2020 because they would not have worked in April.

The initiative comes after other industries stuck to the ‘no work no pay’ policy and only paid their employees money for hours worked for. However, the government came to factory workers’ rescue and subsidised their salaries with M800, which will be paid out monthly for three months.

In a press release dated 24th April 2020, Jonsson Manufacturing Lesotho (Pty) Ltd, Managing Director Anton Barker noted while they are all in the grip of the Covid-19 outbreak and facing unique challenges in this time of uncertainty, they are focusing efforts on tackling some key areas of concern. He said among the primary concerns are the health and well-being of their employees, financial stability of the business and maintaining job security for the local community.

“Since starting this business in Lesotho in 2002 with only 70 employees, we have always tried to do the best we can for our people. Giving them support especially in extraordinary times like these is a priority to us. “The local community has played an integral part in growing our business into the sustainable and successful business it has become,” he said. In encouraging its staff to look after their health and not compromise their well-being, the company has an onsite clinic open, fully staffed and operating during lockdown.

The company said the move is to ensure that staff continue to have access to standard medical care for non-coronavirus related ailments during the lockdown and return fit and well when work resumes. Baker said Jonsson Manufacturing has the capacity to adapt its operations and gear up to help the authorities in handling this evolving public health crisis.

“We were recently granted permission from the Ministry of Trade and Industry to operate very limited essential services such as manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) in response to the demand brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak,” he said.

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