Safety of staff a concern

Desiree Adams, Westridge

I live in Westridge. Years ago, I asked the management of Shoprite and Checkers to look into upgrading the store which was U-Save as it did not stock many items that we, the customers, needed.

They said if the owners of the building are able to extend the U-Save, then it could be transformed into a Shoprite, and it finally was. Westridge, after so many years finally has a decent Shoprite store now.

I called to thank them (and tell them) how grateful we are for their warm and dedicated staff. The staff now has to work until 7pm at night, and that is really going the extra mile.

Winter is fast approaching. We will be experiencing the cold, the rain, as well as the sun setting earlier and the staff do not have any transport to get them home safely.

Safety, is unfortunately, a pressing issue in our communities. The fact that these staff members cannot get home safely just goes to show, that the biggest retail store cares more about making money than the well-being of their staff.

On Monday February 4, I called again and spoke to a gentleman by the name of Dirk regarding the matter and he said he will bring it to the regional manager’s attention. Nothing has been done yet.

I spoke to another gentleman Fabian Carelse, on Thursday March 21 and the times have changed to 6.30pm for a while but is now back to 7pm. There is no compassion as the staff is now forced because they are desperate for employment in order to survive.

If Pick * Pay can see that their staff who work shifts can get home what is wrong with the biggest retail store in Africa?

I called the check line again on Sunday March 28 and spoke to a woman called Megan. I then vented my feelings to her, because I care about people, especially the dedicated staff employed by Checkers and Shoprite.

She reckoned the manager and staff should lodge this to management. Can you imagine what will happen? They will either lose their jobs and be intimidated by their bosses. The staff as I can see will be too scared to raise this bad treatment as their jobs are important to them, and jobs are scarce already.

I have now given up, that’s why I want people to know how the biggest retailer in Africa treats their staff.

Shoprite responds:

While Shoprite Checkers has a policy of not discussing its internal practices in the public domain, employee safety is a high priority for the supermarket group and as such we can confirm that it does have procedures in place for store employee travel arrangements to ensure people working late shifts are taken
care of.

The supermarket group also has established internal channels available which employees can make use of should they wish to raise any concerns.