Unions probe claims that Durban factory workers were strip-searched
Durban - Labour unions are investigating claims that female workers at a Durban clothing manufacturing company are allegedly strip-searched each day at their end of their shift.
RS Fashion in Umbilo is accused of subjecting its female workers to unfavorable conditions, prompting the unions, South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to visit the factory.
Speaking to The Mercury, second deputy president of Cosatu Zingiswa Losi said: “We’re here to protest and to make our voices heard that South Africans are not going to tolerate such indignity. We’re here as Cosatu, saying enough is enough’, protecting the dignity of women is what we’re about in this country.”
— khumbu mbuqe (@MrsMbuqeK) December 6, 2017
SACTWU KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Siboniso Nkomonde said they had been alerted by members of the union who had friends working at the company that female workers were forced to undress down to their underwear after every shift.
“It is alleged that some of the younger female workers are forced to wear sarongs while working to ensure that no clothing items are stolen,” he said.
Senior administrative officer from RS Fashion Linda Nxasana said:“These measures were instituted after two female workers were found to have stolen about three garments each and wore them under their own clothes. We were forced to search the two culprits, after which, a case was opened at Umbilo Police Station."
She added: “Our company apologises greatly for this one incident. We are from today going to engage with Cosatu on ways in which we can treat our employees better.”
The police have confirmed that two cases of theft had been opened on November 24, 2017 by RS Fashion, and that two suspects had been arrested and subsequently convicted.
Read more in Thursday's The Mercury