Rylands Checkers workers fear returning to work after staffer contracts COVID-19
Employees gathered outside a Rylands store have accused the Checkers management of failing to efficiently deep clean the supermarket after a case of the coronavirus was confirmed there.
CAPE TOWN – A group of supermarket employees gathered outside a Rylands store have accused the Checkers management of failing to efficiently deep clean the supermarket after a case of COVID-19 was confirmed among the staff there.
The protesting workers were led by the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Faranaaz Gaffoor.
Gaffoor alleges that the store was not properly sanitised after the positive case and wants to know why.
“Not all the workers were screened and those workers that showed symptoms have been placed on self-quarantine. But it has come to our attention this morning that there are another seven to eight confirmed cases. We are sitting with letters from the department of health.”
The South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union is currently in talks with management.
The union has told workers to go back to work, but they are refusing.
One worker said that she was too scared to go inside.
"We are not sure if the store is clean or not. They say that she was only in the store for three hours so why must they close the store. We have families at home."
Law enforcement and private security have just arrived on the scene and the store's doors have been closed.
Checkers has declined to confirm whether staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at a store in Rylands.
Meanwhile, employees at the Checkers store vowed to remain outside until management addressed them.
Earlier, the store was closed, and Checkers has since released a statement saying that a decontamination company was brought in to sanitise the building.
The disgruntled employees said they were not tested after the staff member contracted COVID-19 three weeks ago. Some of them were not even screened, they said.
“We are very sad, we are very angry, we are very hungry. But we are not going anywhere until they give us answers,” said one of the employees.
According to the workers, eight staff members had tested positive for the virus, but Checkers declined to confirm that.
Meanwhile, Pick n Pay at the Howard Centre in Pinelands was closed after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.
For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.