Spar franchise owner faces new claims of unfair labour practice, abuse

The previous owner of the Zambezi Spar in the north of Pretoria says that after Chris Giannakopoulos took over her branch, he fired all the employees and hired new staff.

Image: www.spar.co.za

PRETORIA - Fresh allegations of unfair labour practice and abuse have been levelled against Spar owner Chris Giannakopoulos, this time by a former owner of one of the retail outlets.

The previous owner of the Zambezi Spar in the north of Pretoria says that after Giannakopoulos took over her branch, he fired all the employees and hired new staff.

Eyewitness News revealed on Monday that the Spar Guild had instructed that Giannakopoulos shall play no further part in the management and control of Spars within his various companies.

The business owner first started making headlines in October last year when he was accused of beating a female employee at the Food Lover’s Market store in Hartbeespoort, but the matter was removed from the court roll.

The former Zambezi Spar owner Madeleine Van der Berg says after she sold her Spar to Giannakopoulos, he made conditions intolerable for staff.

“If he maybe comes in in the morning and he doesn’t like your face, he will tell you 'go home [and] I’ll see you in a week, sorry'. And you don’t get paid for that week. Then in a week’s time, he will tell you to go back home for another week.”

Attorney for Giannakopoulos, Saul Shoot, says allegations of abuse and unfair labour practice against his client are vague and without any particular detail.

He says his client strongly denies the claims, adding that he has in fact created numerous jobs and upskilled many people over 20 years of trading.