Today's Labour News

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strike thumb medium85 85The Citizen reports that court officials have told of a chaotic Monday at the courts during the first day of a strike by Legal Aid SA lawyers, with cases unheard and postponed.  

A court orderly at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, which had a total of 48 old cases and more than 20 first appearances on the roll, said none of the legal aid lawyers from the Wynberg offices reported for duty.  The state apparently had no other choice but to request that the matters be postponed.  The public legal representation agency, which assists about 725,000 people each year, confirmed that there had been disruptions, with Gauteng the worst affected.  Legal Aid SA said the primary dispute was around the reduction of a limited number of employee benefits due to severe budget shortfalls over the last few years.  “The reduction in these benefits, such as the rightsizing of our Group Life Scheme, was done as a last resort to avoid retrenchment of staff,” national spokesperson Mfanafuthi Shabangu said.  He claimed the workers had been engaged regarding the budget constraints, but Michael Motaung, one of the worker representatives, said nothing had been communicated to them.  The lawyers are also aggrieved by lack of security at their offices, as well as their heavy workload.

  • Read the full original of the above report by Sipho Mabena at The Citizen
  • Read too, Chaos at courts as lawyers protest, at SowetanLive

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page