The jobs of more than 200 Fidelity Security workers are hanging in the balance after the company’s contract with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality expired in December.
The workers said the last time they worked was on December 31 after they were notified only four days prior that the municipality had terminated its contract with Fidelity.
In December, following a council resolution to insource security workers from M Secure and Fidelity, the municipality cancelled its contracts with the two companies and insourced 212 security guards on January 1.
This resulted in about 660 M Secure workers being retrenched as the company no longer has sites to place the workers.
Zibele Sabiso, a Fidelity Security employee, complained they had not yet been paid on January 25 as he said the company had promised.
Sabiso said the company had sent them letters terminating their contracts from December 31, but allegedly refused to give them retrenchment letters so that they could look for jobs elsewhere.
“We were told our contracts were ending on December 31, but eventually we were called to the offices in Newton Park. But even there we did not receive any information as to what will happen to us.
“They just told us the municipality cancelled its contract but that has nothing to do with us; we were not on the municipality’s payroll but theirs,” Sabiso said.
Makhosi Nkume, who also worked for Fidelity, said the company should give them their retrenchment letters because they had not been paid.
“We keep borrowing money to come to the offices so we can find out what is happening and now we’re not even being paid. We need to feed our children, take them to school and our fridges are empty.
“The municipality did nothing wrong by cancelling these contracts. Fidelity is the one abusing people.” Nkume said.
A letter sent by Fidelity Security Services on December 27 to its employees states: “Under the circumstances and in terms of the provisions of your fixed-term contract with the company, your services with the company will expire on the 31 December 2018, which is in accordance with the expiry of the NMBM contract.
“The company will endeavour to find alternative positions for those employees affected by the expiry of the NMBM contract”. They were then invited to a meeting at their Newton Park offices for the “exit strategy”.
A spokesperson for Fidelity, Jacqui Moloi, said no employees were retrenched but rather all affected employees were offered alternative employment within the company.
“Certain employees chose to leave with the intention of obtaining employment with NMMM. Unfortunately NMMM did not employ all affected staff,” the spokesperson said.