Collective Bargaining – The Art of Negotiation

Once an employer receives the letter demanding higher wages, an increase in pension fund contributions and an endless number of benefits, the inevitable threat of a strike is looming. The collective bargaining process ensues from here. The trade union and the employer try to negotiate at a plant level to reach an agreement. When the [...]

2021-07-26T09:49:39+02:00July 26th, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on Collective Bargaining – The Art of Negotiation

Is a striking employee entitled to retrospective reinstatement with backpay?

Where an employee is found to be unfairly dismissed, the court or an arbitrator may order that the employer reinstate, re-employ or order that the employer pay compensation to the employee. This article seeks to address the difference between an order to reinstate with backpay and to pay compensation to the employee. Even though the [...]

2021-07-22T12:39:42+02:00July 22nd, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on Is a striking employee entitled to retrospective reinstatement with backpay?

Avoiding a strike scenario by concluding a collective agreement

Collective bargaining is the process of negotiations through which a trade union tries to get an employer to formally agree and accept the workplace demands that workers put forward. Workplace demands can include wages, working conditions, union rights, etc. The aim of collective bargaining is to reach an amicable agreement on the workplace demands and [...]

2021-07-19T09:50:35+02:00July 19th, 2021|General, Strikes|Comments Off on Avoiding a strike scenario by concluding a collective agreement

Misconduct During Strike Action

Violent and lengthy strikes have been a feature of South Africa's industrial relations for a while now. There are very few mechanisms in place to curb violent strikes, even though their effects are visible all over the country. Strikes of this nature have devastating effects on the economy and result in injury to members of [...]

2021-06-23T14:47:53+02:00June 23rd, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on Misconduct During Strike Action

When can an employer make use of replacement labour?

Section 76(1)(b) of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, as amended (“LRA”), provides: “An employer may not take into employment any person – b. for the purpose of performing the work of any employee who is locked out, unless the lockout is in response to a strike.” Considering the above section, it is important [...]

2021-06-21T11:18:47+02:00June 21st, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on When can an employer make use of replacement labour?

Withholding Pay in Times of Industrial Action

There are a number of options that are available to employers during industrial action, one such option being the employer's right to withhold salaries and wages of those employees who are participating in a strike. Withholding pay, naturally, is the most effective method to dissuade employees from embarking on a strike, after dismissal, of course, [...]

2021-06-14T13:09:06+02:00June 14th, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on Withholding Pay in Times of Industrial Action

Protest Action in South Africa

The website Wikipedia, when searching the phrase Protest Action in South Africa, starts their synopsis with the following statement: South Africa has been dubbed "the protest capital of the world", with one of the highest rates of public protests in the world. This label is largely attributed to, firstly, widespread service delivery protests and urban land [...]

2021-06-07T13:27:06+02:00June 7th, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on Protest Action in South Africa

Essential Services

Section 213 of the Labour Relations Act defines an essential service as: a service the interruption of which endangers the life, personal safety, or health of the whole or any part of the population; the Parliamentary service; the South African Police Services   The right to strike is a constitutional right afforded to all workers [...]

2021-05-31T09:53:55+02:00May 31st, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on Essential Services

What is a lockout?

Definition of ‘lockout’ Section 213 of the Labour Relations Act defines a ‘lockout’ as ‘the exclusion by an employer of employees from the employer’s workplace, for the purpose of compelling the employees to accept a demand in respect of any matter of mutual interest between employer and employee, whether or not the employer breaches those [...]

2021-05-24T12:23:02+02:00May 24th, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on What is a lockout?

Picketing and picketing rules

What is it? A picket is a demonstration designed to pressure an employer by encouraging the general public to the reason for the strike and to mobilise support for the strikers' cause.   Where does the right come from? The right to picket derives from Section 17 of the Constitution.  This constitutional right can only [...]

2021-05-17T14:53:31+02:00May 17th, 2021|Strikes|Comments Off on Picketing and picketing rules
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