Article 66/2021

Labour Edge

In the scenario where a union embarks on a strike and thereafter suspends the strike or holds it in abeyance, is an employer obliged to lift its lockout and accept the employees’ tender of service?


  1. For as long as the underlying issue in dispute remains unresolved, the employer is entitled not to accept the employees’ tender of services and lift the lockout.
  2. In Transportation Motor Spares v National Union of Metalworkers of SA and Others (1999) 20 ILJ 690 (LC), at paragraph [18], the labour court said:

‘…the employer is entitled at the stage of the proposed return to work on the part of the strikers to lock them out until the dispute over which they had gone out on strike has been resolved. It is therefore up to the employer to enquire from the strikers when they seek to return to work what the basis is for their return to work and to decide whether he will allow them to resume their duties or not and if he will, then on what terms they will be so allowed.’

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?