Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
Getrude Makhafola and Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi
Female employees at Costa Logistics in Longmeadow, Ekurhuleni, described at a hearing how they felt humiliated after their manager "told us we have sexual infections".
The women and their male colleagues had laid a complaint with management and the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) against manager Sada Naidoo.
Costa Logistics is an Australian supply chain company contracted by Pick n Pay to store and deliver stock to its stores.
Two female employees at the hearing accused Naidoo of insulting them and other members in a "sexually demeaning manner, and defamed our character".
Naidoo allegedly told them at an early morning team meeting last week that female clerks complained to him that they were getting infections after using the same toilet used by the warehouse employees.
"He emphasised on the infections and pointed at his private parts while talking to us, and said the women were diagnosed by their doctors as having sexual infections after using the toilet.
"He said the toilets were not designed for warehouse operators. To us that is racism. I have never felt so humiliated in my life," said one woman.
She said they had to use toilets upstairs after Naidoo stopped them from using those on the ground floor.
Employees said Naidoo started his alleged racist acts by locking away teas and coffees so that blacks could not have access to them.
"He treats us like animals. If you are black you can be pushed around," another woman said.
Naidoo admitted pointing to his private parts, but said he did not target anyone specifically. He said that the clerks had complained about only two toilets on the floor.
"It was a management decision to stop warehouse operators from using the toilets. I apologise to anyone who felt offended," said Naidoo.
Fawu representative Bongani Psimo said the employees felt humiliated.