BHUNYA: Shanon Warren, a block Manager at Montigny Investments, a company linked to Finance Minister Neil Rijkenberg has been accused of denying his employees opportunities to test for COVID-19 as company records 54 cases including 2 deaths since the beginning of the third wave.
A memorandum that was sent by Shanon Warren to the employees on 29 July 2021 and in possession of this publication reveals that the Manager took the situation lightly as he claimed that there were only a few COVID-19 cases in the company and there was no need for panic.
“We have had a few team members who are now sick with COVID-19. This is no cause for panic and I’m requesting that everyone stays calm. Please speak to me before you go or want to go for a test at Montigny Clinic. If you test without communicating through the correct lines you will be held liable for the cost of this test”, reads the memorandum in part.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, one of the affected employees who elected to remain anonymous said the Manager was selective in granting them permission to go for COVID-19 testing.
“We are forced to come to work even when we are sick, the Manager doesn’t even come to work and he doesn’t pick our calls when we want to seek permission to visit the clinic.Even then, he is selective, one worker died after he was denied permission to go for the COVID-19 test.He told us not to panic when we have about 54 COVID-19 cases in the company including 2 deaths”, said the employee.
Reached for comments, the Manager denied the allegations leveled against him and the company adding that they don\'t respond to the press regarding internal matters.
“These allegations are denied and Montigny does not respond to the press regarding internal matters”, he said.
Reached for comments, Wander Mkhonza, the Secretary General of the Almagated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA) urged companies and government to protect their rights.
“This is the worst company of them all, we would like all companies to respect workers’ rights and the Ministry of Labour to do everything its powers to protect workers’ rights. As we are still faced with this COVID-19 pandemic employers should prioritise our health and avail counselling to those who may have been contacts of COVID-19 victims”, said the ATUSWA Secretary General.
Thulani Mkhaliphi, the Principal Secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Labour said he was not aware of the matter.
“The labour space is so organised particularly in a unionised environment, there are structures at enterprise level which process disputes and complaints before they are escalated to higher level. Disputes only reach us if enterprise level structures have failed to reach common understanding”, said the Labour PS
Montigny Manager Shanon Warren