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Manager ‘victimising’ workers – union

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“The aggrieved employees had lodged a victimisation case with the CCMA, which they had lost on jurisdictional grounds”

THE NATIONAL Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has voiced concern over allegations of bullying and victimisation of members and workers at the Northern Cape Consumer Protection Authority.

Nehawu provincial secretary Steffen Cornelius believed that the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism had failed to act on the outcomes of an independent investigation report that was compiled in 2017 after members and workers complained about the conduct of the executive manager of the Consumer Protection Authority.

“We find it bizarre that the department still insists on keeping the manager in his position after the investigation report painted a bleak picture on his management of the institution. The report noted that he had poor managerial skills and was unable to run the institution in a proper manner. Moreover, he continues to interfere with the work of inspectors while failing to provide them with working tools, which directly affects their performance assessments.”

Cornelius threatened that if nothing was done within the next 14 days, members would be mobilised to embark on strike action.

The Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism meanwhile insisted that it had taken the necessary steps to address the matter.

Communications manager at the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Thandi Modibela, yesterday “noted with dismay the distortion of facts” by Nehawu regarding allegations of victimisation of some staff members.

“The aggrieved employees had lodged a victimisation case with the CCMA, which they had lost on jurisdictional grounds,” said Modibela.

She added that upon receipt of the grievances in 2018, management immediately instituted an independent inquiry.

“This inquiry issued a report, with seven recommendations to resolve the employees’ complaints.”

Modibela stated that the acting head of department at the time, convened a meeting in August 2018 with all affected parties at the offices of the Consumer Protector and agreed on a way forward.

“This included the process to implement five of the recommendations.”

She indicated that only one recommendation regarding team building facilitation was made to stand over.

“It was immediately agreed that no employee would be victimised for raising any grievance or complaint.”

She encouraged all parties concerned to offer their co-operation until all the recommendations were implemented.

“The independent inquiry and the subsequent meeting held to discuss how to give effect to the recommendations are indicative that management took seriously and acted on the concerns of the staff concerned.”