Saturday October 8, 2011 : Workers were offered a severance package twice that required by law, says director
 
Casino Enterprises, the owners of the Swaziland-based online casinos Piggs Peak and Volcanic Gold, has delivered a strong denial to employee allegations that workers facing retrenchment were offered poor severance packages.
 
Managing director Howard Berchowitz told the Swaziland Observer newspaper that allegations that he forced his staff to take relatively low retrenchment packages and that he breached labour laws in the process were misleading.
 
“Allegations that I have grossly flouted labour laws and offered low retrenchment packages for the staff are untrue," the gambling executive said. "I am not an authoritarian and strongly believe in democratic principles; therefore there could have been no way I would give the staff retrenchment packages without consultations."
 
After losing its appeal before the Appeal Court in Bloemfontein, effectively making any further operations targeted on South African players illegal, the company is losing a claimed 90 percent of its action, necessitating the lay-offs.     
 
Piggs Peak employees earlier this week complained to the Swaziland labour authorities regarding allegedly short-notice and "forced exit packages" presented to them. Over 70 employees stand to lose their jobs following a memorandum emailed to workers last week in which management said operations would cease at the end of November.
 
Berchowitz says his workers have been offered redundancy packages double what they would have received according to Swazi labour laws.
 
“I am amazed by the reports that the members of staff are furious over the voluntary exit packages they have been offered because these are double what they are supposed to receive according to statutory law,” he said.
 
“However, it is a matter of choice, if they do not want what we have offered we will use the law to set the record straight and revoke our offer.”
 
The internet casino employees have been given until next week Tuesday to choose whether they reject or accept the double offer.