Underwire bras can be pretty uncomfortable. What’s probably more uncomfortable, though, is your undergarments being regulated by your workplace.
According to Australia’s ABC News, the Perth Mint, the country’s official manufacturer and distributor of Australian platinum, silver, and gold coins, is considering banning all clothing containing metal. The ban would include underwire bras, zippers, metal buttons, and clasps.
The ban would be part of a security overhaul addressing several breaches, including a theft of a gold bar worth more than $50,000 by a worker. The ban would only affect staff, contractors, and visitors entering high-security zones. All other general public visitors would not be affected.
According to the West Australian, the facility is exploring two plans of action under this clothing ban. One would require workers to wear metal-free uniforms at all times—non-wire bras and pull-on pants included.
Another option would require staff to change into non-metal clothing such as tracksuits when passing through checkpoints leaving the security zone. A scanner would check clothing for precious metals, and workers would change back into their own clothes afterward.
Despite the security reasoning, a union representing Perth Mint workers has taken issue with the invasive regulations. Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Steve McCartney, called the plan a “disgrace” and said it unfairly targets women.
“It’s without any real science behind it and without any real discussion. They’ve got machinery at airports that people can walk through that can tell you what you’ve had for breakfast. I’m pretty sure they could find the technology that excludes women from having to go through this embarrassment,” McCartney told ABC News. “We think it’s an attack on women’s rights and an attack on women.”
However, Jane King, Perth Mint’s human resources general manager, said staff gave “overwhelmingly positive” feedback for the metal clothing ban and argued that it would eliminate the invasiveness of questioning staff if they had precious metals.
“The feedback from our 240-strong workforce to this proposal has been strongly supportive,” King told the West Australian. “The proposal to introduce metal-free clothing was driven by our desire to improve security at Perth Mint, and will not threaten the integrity or privacy of staff.”