South African labour ministry has urged the Rio Tinto workers in the country to come forth with their discriminatory complaints. The ministry request comes after the global mining group released an online report which outlined a culture of bullying, racism and sexual harassment prevalent across the mines, as reported by People Matters.
As per the government numbers, workers at Rio Tinto in South Africa are also the most likely to experience bullying, with 54.1% of men and 61.6% of women reporting having been bullied at work.
The ministry also said in a statement that they are sure that there are many instances of discrimination and bullying in the labour market in general but the affected individuals are reluctant to report these cases.
"We can only encourage those affected to use the protection of our constitution and EEA (Employment Equity Act) to report cases of discrimination to the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) including cases of bullying," the labour ministry added.
The report, which was commissioned by Rio Tinto in March 2021, about 30% of women and 7% of men workers have experienced sexual harassment at work. The downside of the numbers is that affected individuals didn’t report any incident in fear of retaliation or not knowing the proper channels to convey the information.
The South African labour ministry emphasised that though it is also encouraging that it is the company that has initiated this research, it is necessary to take proper action to deal with the findings.