Today's Labour News

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amcu thumb medium80 81The Star reports that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) wants the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to pronounce that solidarity strikes are legally protected.

Formally referred to as secondary strikes, these are a form of industrial action by workers in support of a strike initiated by fellow union members in a separate company. In Amcu’s case, protected secondary strikes would enable the union to bring members out at gold, platinum and coal mines if one employer in the mining industry failed to meet workers’ demands. Amcu’s resolve to push for protection of solidarity strikes emanated from a failed bid to achieve this in 2019. When its protected strike at Sibanye-Stillwater that year entered a fourth month, Amcu issued secondary strike notices against a number of other mining groups. Amcu’s bid was thwarted by the Labour Court, which ruled that secondary strikes were unprotected. The Labour Appeal Court (LAC) also dealt Amcu’s appeal application a blow, ruling the case had become moot because there was no longer a strike. Believing that both the Labour Court and LAC had erred, Amcu has now appealed the two judgments at the ConCourt.  Several mines are opposing Amcu’s application. Sandra Labuschagne of Sibanye Gold submitted in court papers that Amcu’s interpretation was fundamentally wrong. “If (Amcu's) proposition was allowed to stand, it would leave a secondary employer without any protection available to it. This is so because the secondary employer cannot accede to the demands of the primary strikers in order to settle the dispute, nor is it a participant in the power play between the primary employer and its employees,” Labuschagne argued.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Bongani Nkosi at The Star

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