Lanxess mine protest

Image: Ryanj93 – Wikimedia Commons

Numsa stage sit-in at Lanxess facility in Rustenburg

The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) is protesting against apparent sexual harassment and victimisation of one of the female employees.

Lanxess mine protest

Image: Ryanj93 – Wikimedia Commons

About 200 Numsa members have staged a sit-in underground at Lanxess mines near Rustenburg, the union said on Friday.

Numsa protesting sexual harassment

The union‘s spokeswoman Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the sit-in at the chrome mining company started on Wednesday morning. Workers are protesting against the sexual harassment and victimisation of a female worker.

“Approximately 200 workers are protesting because one of our members was allegedly sexually harassed by a man who holds the position of a mine captain.

“The victim reported the incident in August last year. She was so traumatised that she even went to psychiatric hospital for a few months because of her experience. The alleged perpetrator has never been suspended, and no disciplinary action has been taken against him. The management of the company has been reluctant to deal decisively and discipline him for harassing the worker,” she said.

“It is alleged that he tried to demand sexual favours from her in exchange for a full-time position. She refused his advances and exposed him. To make matters worse, management is pressuring her to withdraw the case, and they are unwilling to take action against the mine captain. This has angered our members who are now staging a sit-in underground as a result.”

Called a prostitute

She said the woman had allegedly been called names and even branded a ‘prostitute’ by the security manager and his wife for daring to expose the perpetrator.

Union members demanded that the alleged perpetrator must immediately be suspended and disciplined for his actions and that the human resource manager must also be suspended for failing to provide a conducive and caring work environment for victims of sexual harassment. They accuse the manager of colluding with the perpetrator.

They also wanted the security manager and his wife who allegedly insulted the victim to be suspended and disciplined for their utterances.

The union further demand that the mine reinstate dismissed workers who participated in a legal strike against Lanxess last year.

African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Chantall Presence