Service desk agents in battle with EOH over non-payment

Read time 2min 40sec

While it tries to put its house in order, troubled IT services company EOH is at loggerheads with service desk agents.

This emerged after an anonymous whistle-blower told ITWeb that some service desk agents have not been paid their salaries since May. EOH says there are 44 affected agents.

The whistle-blower is from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, which outsourced its service desk to EOH’s corruption-tainted subsidiary EOH Mthombo.

Says the whistle-blower: “The service desk is run by the delinquent EOH, and they have not paid the agents and engineers since May 2019.

“The service desk manager is the least qualified person, yet she holds the highest post in the department. She’s infamous for promoting unqualified staff to supervisory positions. In return, these staff members spy for her by monitoring the hardworking agents and engineers. As gratitude, they receive higher salaries, annual increases and higher bonuses compared to their counterparts.

“The employees have decided to down tools until they get their salaries and bonuses. The service desk employees were forced to surrender their rights when EOH and their lawyers ENS terminated the BEE partnership in favour of their subsidiary companies.”

In response, an EOH spokesperson says: “The service desk employees have not been required to terminate any rights.

“EOH is in the process of transferring these employees to EOH, by way of Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act.”

According to EOH, the service desk personnel were employees of Vitom Technologies, which was a subcontractor of EOH Mthombo.

The company claims that the late payment resulted from the administrative processes required to transfer the employees from Vitom to EOH.

“This Section 197 process is expected to be completed when all outstanding amounts have been paid to the employees. Representatives from EOH have transparently engaged with the affected employees this past week, providing a full update on the transfer into EOH.

“Some employees were paid on Friday, 27 September, 2019, while the remaining employees were paid on Monday, 30 September, 2019.”

Problems at EOH started in February when US-based software giant Microsoft terminated its contract with the company after an anonymous whistle-blower filed a complaint with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission about alleged malfeasance to do with a R120 million contract with the SA Department of Defence.

This led EOH to request law firm ENSAfrica to conduct an investigation into EOH contracts to identify any wrongdoing or criminal conduct in the acquisition, awarding or execution of contracts.

The report found evidence of a number of governance failings and wrongdoings at EOH. It also identified suspicious transactions of R1.2 billion and these are being investigated by ENSafrica.

EOH Mthombo, the subsidiary that was largely implicated in the suspicious payments, will be closed within two years, the company said.

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