Lobels, Workers Clash Over Coronavirus Testing Costs
Leading bread and confectionery manufacturer, Lobels, has reportedly directed its workers at Lobels Biscuits Company in Bulawayo to undergo COVID-19 testing at their own expense.
The directive was issued after four employees contracted the novel coronavirus last week.
An aggrieved worker who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com Tuesday accused the company of using unfair labour laws to force them to use their own funds for the tests. He said:
Last week, four colleagues who work at Oven Four tested positive for COVID-19. Surprisingly, the company ordered all workers in that section to undergo testing at their own cost. This is unfair considering the paltry salaries workers are currently earning.
Worse still, the company has ordered production to keep running despite the risks faced after our colleagues tested positive.
The worker’s claim that they were ordered to use their own funds to undergo COVID-19 tests was, however, dismissed by Lobels human resources manager Andrew Dinhidza. He said:
In the section where four workers tested positive, we have stopped production for the whole section.
All the workers in that section went for Covid-19 testing and those who were found positive were asked to go and self-quarantine.
… Remember we stopped production and asked everyone to go and get tested at the company’s expense.
Those who feel that they are not safe are still free to stay at home and no one will get his salary stopped in any circumstance.
However, the NewZimbabwe.com source dismissed Dinhidza’s statement as “blatant lies” and urged the Ministry of Health and Child Care to investigate Lobels.
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