South Africans can breathe a bit easier knowing that the country’s financial systems will not be upended by strike action.
This following a ruling from Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker of the Labour Court who said that the strike is unprotected.
The judge said that because Cosatu and its affiliate Sasbo (South African Society of Bank Officials) had failed to comply with provisions in section 77 of the Labour Relations Act that allow for a strike to be protected.
“Cosatu and Sasbo are hereby interdicted with encouraging or enticing employees to engage in the intended protest action … unless and until such time as they have complied with section 77 of the LRA,” the judge said according to Fin24.
Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act outlines the provisions that allow a union or federation to embark on protest action to protect the socio-economic interests of workers. However, those provisions also include a process whereby protest action should be the last action taken. Before that unions must consult with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) until an agreement is reached. If not, Nedlac must be informed that protest action will be taking place.
This is why the Business Unity of South Africa (Busa) initially opposed the strike action and applied for the interdict. It argued that the process outlined in section 77 had not been followed and the strike had been announced before discussions had happened.
“It’s not really a win, except it is forcing them to come back to Nedlac and discuss their concerns before considering any form of industrial action. We are happy with the ruling,” Nedlac convener for Busa, Kaizer Moyane told Fin24.
The protest was organised by Sasbo and was intended to protest retrenchments in the financial industry brought about by automation and other new generation technologies. The protest was meant to take place on Friday 27th September.
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