Home News Union pickets dept over ‘harassment, victimisation’

Union pickets dept over ‘harassment, victimisation’

382

Nehawu members are threatening to shut down the supply chain management unit at the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture as they blame management for failing to address a complaint of victimisation, intimidation and harassment of women in the workplace that was lodged against an assistant director.

Nehawu members staged lunchtime pickets this week following complaints of victimisation and intimidation. Picture: Soraya Crowie

NATIONAL Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) members are threatening to shut down the supply chain management unit at the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

They accuse the management of failing to address a complaint of victimisation, intimidation and harassment of women in the workplace that was lodged against an assistant director.

Lunchtime pickets were held this week and Nehawu branch chairperson Victor Modise stated that female officials were being bullied and subjected to verbal abuse.

“Three officials were hospitalised and are suffering from depression as they are being forced to work in a hostile environment. They are overworked, forced to work weekends, overtime and while they are on sick leave,” said Modise.

He added that female colleagues were afraid of reporting their grievances, for fear of further victimisation.

“An independent investigation must be conducted into the allegations by an external party to avoid matters of self-interest and to uphold transparency,” he said.

Modise indicated that the complainants were suffering emotional, physical, emotional, psychological and social harm as a result of the alleged “discriminatory and abusive conduct” of the assistant director.

Public Servants Association (PSA) provincial manager Steve Ledibane stated that the assistant director, who is a PSA member, was being victimised after exposing corruption in the department.

“We have requested that he be allowed to work from home as his life is in danger and trumped-up charges are being brought against him,” said Ledibane.

Nehawu members staged lunchtime pickets this week following complaints of victimisation and intimidation. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture spokesperson Conrad Fortune said a grievance process had begun to investigate the allegations with the labour relations unit and their immediate supervisor.

“The investigation has been compounded by a counter-complaint. Each party will be granted an opportunity to present their case and a date has been scheduled for the parties to meet,” said Fortune.

He indicated that there was no correlation between exposing corruption and the charges that were brought against the PSA member.

“The PSA member is free to lodge a complaint for investigation. Unfortunately, the department cannot allow the official to work from home as there are strict regulations and confidentiality regulating supplies and procurement, where sensitive information can be placed at risk. We have implemented sufficient measures to protect the officials at the workplace.”

Fortune added that no disruptions were caused due to the lunchtime pickets.

“No formal application has been submitted for any shutdown.”

Nehawu members staged lunchtime pickets this week following complaints of victimisation and intimidation. Picture: Soraya Crowie
Previous articleCelebrating eight years of ECD support in Noupoort
Next articleUnion calls for mental hospital to be ‘condemned’