Spar franchise owner rejects claims of unfair labour practice at Zembezi store

Spar franchise owner Chris Giannacopoulos has strongly rejected allegations of unfair labour practice at his family group’s Zambezi outlet, saying there is a campaign of vilification being waged against him.

Image: www.spar.co.za

PRETORIA - Spar franchise owner Chris Giannacopoulos has strongly rejected allegations of unfair labour practice at his family group’s Zambezi outlet, saying there is a campaign of vilification being waged against him.

The Giannacopoulos group owns and operates more than two dozen Spars and also has interests in Food Lover's Market and OK Foods.

Giannakopoulos first started making headlines in October last year when he was accused of assaulting a female employee at a Hartbeespoort Food Lover's Market.

He was scheduled to appear in court a week ago, but that the matter was struck off the role.

The former owner of the Zambezi Spar in the north of Pretoria, Madeleine van der Berg, accused Giannacopoulos of making conditions intolerable for employees when he took over.

But Gianacopoulos, through his attorney Saul Shoot, says that her claims are plainly false.

He says that the Spar group dispossessed Van der Berg of the outlet because it failed as a business and later sold it to an entity within the Gianacopoulos group.

Shoot says that the former owner’s claims about abusing staff are hearsay, adding that Giannacopoulos has in fact created employment, upskilled and trained staff.

He says that it appears there is a co-ordinated campaign of vilification being mounted against his client.

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.