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Jonsson Manufacturing pays “short time” workers

Staff Reporter

TEXTILE giant Jonsson Manufacturing on Friday started processing once-off payments for its 4024 workers from its eight Maputsoe and Ha-NyeNye factories who have all been placed on a temporary lay-off.

Also referred to as short time, temporary lay-offs are often used by companies that are undergoing financial distress to manage their resources and stay afloat.

The workers have been off work since 25 March 2020 when the company stopped operations ahead of the country’s lockdown which started on 30 March.

“As of 25 March 2020, Jonsson Manufacturing had no alternative but to close its eight factories in Maputsoe and Ha-NyeNye as countries around the world went into immediate lockdown, the impact of which sadly resulted in its employees going on short time until further notice,” a statement from the company reads.

“… The company, however, remains concerned that many of its employees may experience financial difficulties during May 2020 as a result of no work and no pay during April.”

The company said, like others, it was “facing unique challenges in this time of uncertainty” but was also “focusing its efforts on tackling some key areas of concern”.

It added that it was concerned that its staff may suffer financial challenges during May when they will not have worked.

The company has therefore given its 3721 workers who have served for more than six months a once-off M1000 payment. The 303 staffers who have served for less than six months each received a M500 once-off payment.

Jonsson Manufacturing managing director Anton Barker said, “All the 4024 Jonsson employees in Lesotho will be notified this evening (Friday) of this payment, by SMS, and they will have the opportunity to either accept this payment or opt out by return SMS should they not require this payment”.

“The funds will be transferred directly into their respective bank accounts by Thursday 30 April. Should any member of staff need more information, they will be given the opportunity to contact someone in our organisation who will guide them through this.”

The statement said while Jonsson Manufacturing was “facing unique challenges in this time of uncertainty”, it was also “focusing its efforts on tackling some key areas of concern”.

“Among the primary concerns are the health and well-being of our employees, financial stability of the business and maintaining job security for the local community.”

The company’s chairperson, Nick Jonsson, said they have done their best since 2002, when the company started with just 70 workers, to prioritise their staff.

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.

“The strong values that have always guided us are more important now than ever and we will continue to do the right thing as always,” Mr Jonsson said.

The company will also keep its onsite clinic open, fully staffed and operating normal hours during lockdown to encourage the staff to look after their health.

This is meant to ensure that the staff has access to their standard medical care for non-coronavirus related ailments during the lockdown and remain fit until work resumes.

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