The concerned staff members called for the store to be “decontaminated” before they would resume work.
MONUMENT Spar in Kimberley was closed on Wednesday afternoon when staff were sent home after the Department of Labour intervened after some employees refused to work due to Covid-19 concerns.
The concerned staff members called for the store to be “decontaminated” before they would resume work. The majority of workers, however, continued with their duties.
Shoppers queued at the entrance of the store, after apparently being refused entry, at around lunchtime on Wednesday before giving up and leaving.
The workers said that they called for intervention after finding out that one of their colleagues had apparently tested positive for Covid-19.
The workers complained that they had to “squeeze the truth out of management” after enquiring about a worker who was not reporting for duty. The workers said they were only informed on Wednesday morning that the person had tested positive, after which some downed tools, demanding that the store be decontaminated.
The workers reportedly gathered at the entrance to the store. A worker was apparently later accused of preventing shoppers from entering the store and telling them that the store was not adhering to Covid-19 regulations.
Inspectors from the Labour Department and union members were called to intervene. The workers were told to go home and wait for further instructions following a meeting with management.
The spokesperson for the Department of Employment and Labour in the Northern Cape, Kebalepile Khula, confirmed that an inspector was sent to the store on Wednesday.
He promised that the department would reveal the details and outcomes of a report at a later stage.
Monument Spar could not be reached for comment.