Today's Labour News

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labourcourtsBL Premium reports that precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater’s decision to fire 59 employees at its Rustenburg platinum operations after finding them guilty of forging sick notes set the company up against the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which claimed the employees had been unfairly dismissed.

Sibanye fired the employees after a hearing in terms of which they were found guilty of submitting fake sick notes to take time off work. Amcu then took Sibanye to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), which ruled against the employees. The union then approached the Labour Court (LC) to set aside the award by the CCMA – arguing that the commissioner failed to consider mitigation and aggravation factors, the inconsistency of discipline and the severity of the dismissal sanction. The arguments led by the Amcu persuaded the LC, which remitted the matter back to the CCMA for a hearing on the issue of sanction. The LC’s decision was on Friday set aside by the Labour Appeal Court (LAC), thereby handing Sibanye a victory in the dispute. The LAC indicated: “The certificates were signed by the same unknown person without her/his initials or surname and none of them had a serial number. The employees submitted the certificates with one motive, namely to deceive the appellant in circumstances in which the appellant has a zero-tolerance approach in as far as dishonesty and fraud. The misconduct committed by the employees was of a serious nature and was grossly dishonest. Such conduct patently undermined the trust relationship between the parties.”

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kabelo Khumalo at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

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