Article 56/2021

Labour Edge

When a secondary employer seeks an interdict prohibiting a secondary strike, what is the nature of the onus on the secondary employer?

In Samancor Ltd and Another v National Union of Metalworkers of SA (1999) 20 ILJ 2941 (LC), [1999] 11 BLLR 1202 (LC), the court held that:

‘[5]     If an interdict is sought, the onus rests on the secondary employer, even on the return day, to prove that the interdict should be granted. The employer must show that the conditions for embarking on a secondary strike have not been met. The employer would therefore also have to show that, as in this case, the secondary strike is unreasonable or not proportional.

[6]      The union would have to rebut any prima facie case that the employer may make out and may have to justify its decision to have embarked on the secondary strike.

It is settled law that one of the requirements of a lockout is that it is to be preceded by a demand from the employer in respect of a matter of mutual interest.  Does this equate to a lockout notice?

What is the purpose of a lockout?

What are the requirements to be met for an urgent application to be granted in the labour court?