Article 65/2021

Labour Edge

What is the purpose of a strike or lockout notice?

In NASECGWU and Others v Donco Investments (Pty) Ltd (2010) 31 ILJ 977 (LC), at paragraph [16], the labour court held as follows:

‘What, however, stands out from all of these cases is the fact that it is the purpose of the strike or lockout notice to give the employer or the union and employees an opportunity to reflect on the proposed action and their response thereto. The reason for allowing the parties this opportunity is obvious: Once a lockout is instituted, the employer does not have to remunerate the locked out employees. Likewise, once the employees embark on strike action because the employer does not wish to accede to their demands, the principle of no work no pay will apply. The economic consequences of any decision taken during the 48-hour notice period are therefore important to both parties. The possibility of settling the dispute either by making a counter-proposal which may eventually settle the dispute or acceding to a demand in order to avert the strike or even abandon the strike or lockout, is of equal importance. It is therefore, in my view, clear that the legislature had intended to afford parties an opportunity to reflect on the consequences of the lockout or strike notice. Section 64(1)(c) read in its proper context and read against at least two of the primary objects of the LRA, which are to promote collective bargaining and to promote the effective resolution of labour disputes, must be interpreted to mean that the 48-hour notice serves as an opportunity to parties to reflect on the consequences of the strike or lockout notice.’

To what extent is the practice manual of the labour court binding on all parties and the labour court?

The institution of review proceedings does not suspend the operation of an arbitration award unless security is furnished to the satisfaction of the court in terms of s145(8) of the LRA.  On what basis did the labour appeal court recently resolve the conflict between various labour court judgments interpreting the stay of enforcement of arbitration awards pending review proceedings?

What are the requirements to be met for s158(1)(c) of the LRA to be applicable (dealing with the jurisdiction of the labour court) to make an arbitration award or settlement agreement an order of court?