Pharmacy Direct agrees to return Covid-19 UIF funds after EFF’s ’special visit’
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PRETORIA – The EFF led by Julius Malema on Wednesday warned companies which claimed Covid-19 Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) money and withheld it from workers.
“We reiterate our call for all companies that have claimed the Unemployment Insurance Funds for their employees to pay workers what is due to them immediately.
“Otherwise, they too shall receive a warm special visit from the EFF,” said EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo.
“We further call on all workers across the country to contact the EFF to alert us of companies that have not paid the UIF and we will pay them a special warm visit.”
On Wednesday, Malema, accompanied by head of the EFF labour desk Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi, visited Pharmacy Direct CEO Gavie Erasmus in the light of the ongoing debacle over the payment of TERS money to workers.
“Erasmus treated workers with disdain and sheer white racist arrogance when they confronted him about the non-payment of TERS,” said Pambo.
The EFF said it had reached an agreement with Erasmus whereby he would pay back the money he received from the government on behalf of the workers and then Pharmacy Direct workers would individually claim from the UIF.
“Upon meeting with the EFF, the CEO unreservedly apologised to the workers for the attitude and conduct he displayed towards them, which was captured on video.
“The EFF and Pharmacy Direct, with the workers of Pharmacy Direct, amicably agreed that the money paid out from the TERS should be returned by Pharmacy Direct to the Department of Employment and Labour,” said Pambo.
Numerous workers, particularly in South Africa’s vast restaurant and hospitality sector, claim that their employers claimed UIF money on their behalf but the money was diverted by the employers.
African News Agency