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  • Writer's pictureThe Kaplan Team

NEWSFLASH Unprotected strikes

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

The collective agreements of certain Bargaining Councils prescribe that matters of mutual interest must be dealt with at Bargaining Council level. In a recent Labour Appeal Court judgment, the Court held that the requirements of the constitution of the Motor Industry Bargaining Council (“MIBCO”) in this regard are directed at uniformity and orderly substantive outcomes. The union had tried to bargain at plant level over matters which ought to have been negotiated at Bargaining Council level (in terms of MIBCO’s constitution). The strike which followed when the union’s plant-level demands were not met was held to have undermined centralised bargaining. The strike was accordingly unprotected and could be interdicted.

When employees who fall under a Bargaining Council make demands about matters of mutual interest at plant level and then threaten to go on strike, go to the relevant Bargaining Council main agreement. You may well establish that the Union cannot introduce two-tier bargaining and then embark upon industrial action when their demands at plant-level are not met.

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This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and is produced for information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the legal position relating to the topic. It is recommended that advice relating to the specific circumstances of your situation be sought from our attorneys before acting upon the content of this article. This article was written at a particular point in time and accordingly may not always reflect the most recent legal developments, if any, applicable to the relevant topic. Kaplan Blumberg and its partners and/or employees, are not responsible for any consequences which may follow upon any decision taken to act upon the information provided in this article.

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