19 September 2018

South Africa: No Access to the Right to Strike for Workers At Heineken Sedibeng

analysis

The experiences of workers at Heineken Sedibeng illustrate how labour broker workers are excluded from collective bargaining and that going on a protected strike is difficult. What does this mean for the state of South Africa's constitutional democracy and the constitutional right to strike?

Parliament has recently voted to structurally limit workers' right to strike, while the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey shows that 8,434 million (60.8%) of workers have their salaries determined by their bosses without any negotiations. The experiences of workers at Heineken Sedibeng illustrate how labour broker workers are excluded from collective bargaining and that going on a protected strike is already very difficult. Especially for precarious workers employed through labour brokers or as casual employees.

A Labour Court order by Judge Andre van Niekerk dated 4 September 2018 interdicted any kind of strike until 25 October 2018. The order declares any and all strike action unlawful, without making it conditional on specific procedural or substantive issues. Essentially, the judge removed the right to strike altogether....

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