Clothing company Tern Sportswear has been barred from moving its machinery and other equipment to Lesotho after failing to tell the local workers' union about its plans.

The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) said that under the Labour Relations Act it should have been consulted on the matter.

Instead, it has now obtained an injunction from the Durban Labour Court that prevents Tern Sportswear from removing any of its assets, machinery or equipment from its premises.

The ruling also requires an inventory to be made of all assets, machinery and equipment currently situated at the company premises.

The union said it hopes the decision acts as a deterrent to other companies who might wish to undertake similar actions.

Tern Sportswear Pty Ltd, which is based in Isithebe in KwaZulu-Natal, makes knitted fabrics and garments. It is a subsidiary of Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Holding Co (Pty) Ltd.