The Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa congratulates its sister union the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) on the massive victory against a very arrogant employer named Woolworths. This court ruling comes six years after Woolworths had unfairly retrenched workers.
This victory after such relentless efforts is indeed a clear indication that the level of exploitation is high in this country and rises an urgency to review the Labour Relations Act. It is totally incorrect that even when a court of law has ruled in favour of workers, it takes a mere appeal for workers to remain unemployed.
This case has gone to numerous courts of law starting from the Labour Court after a deadlock at the CCMA to the Labour Appeals Court and the Constitutional Court. It is only after six years that workers finally experience justice for their bravery of refusing to adhere to unfair labour practices where they were forced to accept offers that were going to compromise them and their families.
The Constitutional Court judgement states clearly that the dismissal was unfair, meaning that there was no reason for the dismissal of these employees. This year alone, LIMUSA has equally won many similar cases (even though they were not at the level of the Constitutional Court) where the judgement found no reason nor logic at all for the dismissal of workers.
The Retrospectivity of reinstatement as per the Constitutional Court judgement is clear that there was nothing wrong in workers excessing their rights. In our view, this means that by refusing workers to excise their rights, Woolworths actually violated the rights of workers.
This is a victory not only for SACCAWU but for the workers of this country. This judgement will be a reference whenever arrogant employers such as Woolworths violates the rights of workers. It will also prohibit the practice of employers violating workers rights and suspending them whenever they refuse unlawful instructions.
Viva SACCAWU Viva!!!!
Issued by LIMUSA.