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'Stop beating up inspectors' Cosa assaulted

By unknown | Nov 20, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Worker union Cosatu in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday expressed concern over an increased number of assaults on labour inspectors by employers.

Union spokesman Thulani Gabela called on Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlane to investigate the conduct of both the regional and provincial directorate of labour in the matter.

"We want to know why the department of labour's legal services department is not giving legal and trauma support to the inspectors or bringing the employers to book."

In October a labour inspector was severely beaten by the owners of a Transport company in Pietermaritzburg.

In another incident an official was severely beaten at a Ladysmith printing firm. The assault left him with cracked ribs.

Gabela said in the Pietermaritzburg incident the employer had allegedly burnt an employee with a chemical.

Labour inspectors now feared inspecting workplaces because of the assaults, Gabela said.

Mdladlana condemned the violent attacks and warned that no one was above the law.

"Those found guilty will be dealt with with the full might of the inspectorate," Mdladlana said. "An inspector has the power to visit any employer at any time to conduct inspections.

"Anyone who obstructs or hinders an inspector is breaking the law."

Mdladlana said since both incidents had been reported to police, the names of the companies and their owners were being withheld.

The department of labour had opened an obstruction case in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act against the employer and a criminal charge had also been laid for the assault of the inspector, he said.


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