The amendments to the Labour Relations Act will see the introduction of the code of good practice on collective bargaining, as well as industrial action and picketing, stakeholders were told at the Department of Labour briefing session in Polokwane. The meeting is an initiative of the Department on the introduction of the new national minimum wage (NMW) as well as amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Labour Relations Act.
Thembinkosi Mkalipi, Chief Director responsible for Collective Bargaining said, “the amendments are designed to strengthen collective bargaining, enhance labour market stability and promote proactive and speedy dispute resolution”.
He said the amendments come from a process of engagement through NEDLEC on the state of Labour Relations environment and in particular to address violent and protracted strikes.
Amendments to LRA agreed on at NEDLEC were approved by cabinet and submitted to the National Assembly as well as the National Council of Provinces.
He said the aim was to have amendments passed into law early next year.
Turning to picketing, he said this will be prohibited unless there are picketing rules in place.
“A commissioner conciliating a dispute that may lead to a strike or lockout may determine getting rules if there is no agreement in place.
When determining picketing rules, a commissioner must do so in accordance with a default picketing rules in the code of good practice after taking representations made by parties,” he said.
This is done to encourage peaceful collective bargaining to exhaust internal processes before taking to the streets to avoid loss of life of employees and the negative impact on the economy.
“It is only when collective bargaining cannot be agreed upon that those employees will be allowed to picket,” he said.
“No picketing rules, no strike. If workers continue to strike without picketing rules, the strike will not be protected, it will not be granted by the CCMA,” he said.
The hearings will resume on January 18 next year in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga and ends on February 16, in Kimberly, Northern Cape.
For more information contact:
Director: Employement Standards
076 419 0993