Beware Cosatu’s strike, employers told

Employers have been advised to make contingency plans in the light of planned protest action by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on March 7.

Faan Coetzee, a director in the employment practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr business law firm, says: “A number of employees are expected to heed the call from Cosatu to join in nationwide protest action. Significant disruption may be caused when workers opt to join the protest rather than go to work.”

“The protest action is in support of a ban on labour brokering and the scrapping of the e-toll system in Gauteng. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his budget speech … that tolling on the Gauteng freeway improvement project will begin on April 30.”

Coetzee explains that for the protest action to be protected, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) must first consider the subject matter thereof.

According to the Nedlac website, the matter was declared “considered” in a meeting held on January 30 2012.

“The Labour Relations Act defines protest action as the partial or complete refusal to work, or the retardation or obstruction of work, for the purpose of promoting or defending the socio-economic interests of workers … A strike, on the other hand, has the purpose of remedying a grievance or resolving a dispute in respect of a ‘matter of mutual interest’.”

“It is not collective bargaining that is at stake when employees embark on protest action as protest action involves not only the rights of employees and employers, but also the interest of the public at large and, in certain instances, the effect on the national economy,” he says.

Coetzee notes that a call for the outright banning of labour brokering in South Africa is an issue of state policy and general socio-economic concern and not a demand to any specific employer or employer parties, which makes it protest action.

“Any employee may legally participate in protected protest action once the formalities have been complied with at Nedlac. Participating employees may not be disciplined and the principle of no-work, no-pay will apply,” Coetzee adds. — I-Net Bridge

Follow the Mail & Guardian‘s coverage of Cosatu’s 2012 march

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Too broke for Mboweni to budget

The scramble to find cash for an SAA bailout, Covid-19 grants and civil servants’ demands force postponement of mini-budget

Teacher union to join Cosatu strike over ‘uncaring employer’

Sadtu has accused the state of being an “uncaring employer” for failing to pay salary increases due two years ago

October 7 strike: ‘Lukewarm’ action amid Covid-19 crisis?

After months of little action, the planned nationwide stayaway may not be an impressive show of force by the trade union movement

Dance with the ‘devil’: Why SA has fought off the IMF for so long

The ANC has, until now, always rejected going to the International Monetary Fund, which underscores how bad our economic situation is

Clicks-bait: EFF MP’s new parole probe

Kenny Motsamai, a parolee who is also an EFF MP, could be sent back to jail if correctional services finds he violated his parole conditions

EFF MPs to be investigated for disrupting parliamentary proceedings

Under the spotlight will be the Economic Freedom Fighters’ behaviour at the State of the Nation address and during the public enterprise department’s budget speech

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

The Nigerian government is killing its citizens — again

‘Nigeria kills its people. Nigeria has always killed its people.’

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday