Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practice requirements.
At the CCMA, it is now an arbitration hearing and remember – all the evidence has to be presented by both Mike and George, all over again.
One of Mike’s witnesses (who in fact was George’s supervisor – let’s call him Andrew) was very clear on the fact that George had in fact been trained and George was well aware of how to conduct the searches on staff. Andrew also stated that George had been posted to his particular position to conduct the searches and that is what George’s specific function was. Having said all of the above, Andrew did say that under normal circumstances – this function would have been carried out by someone who was more senior than George.
Although the function of searching staff, would normally be carried out by someone more senior than George, Andrew stated that the reason George had been posted to this particular position was because of the length of time he had worked in the security services division, which was the Security Division of all of Mike’s businesses. George, of course, had been with the company for about 14 years. This of course, meant that George had the most experience in the security arena of the company, and it was for this reason that George had been chosen for this post.
One of the senior managers in the store (let’s call him Simon) stated that the reason that the video surveillance equipment had been installed at the exit was because of the large losses that the store was experiencing. Video surveillance had always been in the actual store itself and it had been ascertained that very little of the shrinkage was due to theft from the public. Therefore it was assumed that the staff were stealing, hence the need for the staff to be correctly searched. Simon stated that the company could be held responsible if searches were not conducted correctly as staff could bring about various charges, against the company.
It was noted at this point that the stores’ losses were around the R500 000 per annum mark.
George, at this point, claimed that he had not received any training at all, in terms of the correct procedures on how to search the staff and that furthermore, he had objected to being posted to this particular position being the Staff Exit Section.
Next time we will continue with what the Commissioner at Arbitration had to say.