Angry employees at a local removals company claim they are not allowed to wear “African outfits” at work because they are “against company policy”.
The staff, at Tray International in Epping, say they are threatened with dismissal for “upholding our identity as proud Africans”.
In a letter to the Daily Voice, the workers, who asked to remain anonymous, say they feel “humiliated, insulted,
discriminated and traumatised”.
“We are not allowed to dress as Africans. We are being told that dressing up as Africans looks like ‘village people’,” the document reads.
The statement is signed off by “a threatened and soon to be fired employee”.
The staffers also provided pictures of their clothes, deemed to be “not corporate” enough.
On Monday, October 17, one of the employees received a letter from management, warning “disciplinary steps will now be taken”.
The company email, which is in the Daily Voice’s possession, reads: “… you were advised that the African outfits that you are wearing are against company policy as per the Rules and Regulations and Policy procedures documents which form part of your contract of employment.
“I also informed you that no headwear is allowed unless it is for religious reasons. You had a scarf on your head.
“I asked you to kindly refrain from wearing these outfits because they are not considered corporate business wear.”
The employees, however, insist, there is no mention of African wear in the company’s policy.
“They keep on saying it is not in the company’s policy to wear African clothes. I have been working here since the company opened in 2006 and nowhere does the policy state no African clothes,” says one employee.
“It merely states that women need to be dressed neatly and decently. Women get called into disciplinary hearings for wearing African clothes, some lose their jobs.”
The Daily Voice visited the offices of Tray International to speak to management regarding the allegations. The bosses were, however, not willing to speak and the reporter was told to make an appointment.
The director’s PA Alison Rademeyer, later said: “The company will not be taking your appointment; in this regard the company has no comment.”