Labour Court grants RAF workers the right to strike

The Labour Court in Johannesburg has ruled that workers at the Road Accident Fund (RAF) have the right to strike under the banner of the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa).

The judgment was handed down electronically on Monday by Labour Court judge Robert Lagrange. He said employees at RAF have the right to go on strike under the banner of Numsa.

The RAF was the applicant in the matter. The respondents were Numsa along with certain individual employees at RAF that are affiliated to Numsa.

Intended strike was unprotected

“The intended strike action initiated by the First Respondent’s strike notice of 27 February 2024 attached as Annexure “RAF6” to the Applicant’s founding affidavit, is unprotected.

“The Respondents may only embark on protected strike action in respect of the dispute. It [dispute] was referred to conciliation on 14 July 2023 under CCMA case number HO77-23. If a written strike notice is issued to the Applicant on at least 48 hours’ notice of the commencement of the strike, in which notice it states:

“The strike action shall be embarked upon in support of Numsa demand.  [The demand] that RAF… immediately restores the terms and conditions of employment of the employees.  These [employees] were unilaterally amended by RAF as a consequence of and pursuant to the following actions:

  • Implementation of CRM projects and/or outsourcing of the Call Centre(s).
  • Placement of employees in new positions in terms of RAF’s new organogram,” Lagrange said.

The judgment was with respect to the right to strike at the RAF.

RAF had earlier blocked the strike

It (judgment) was in response to the interim order which was granted to the RAF to block the strike.

The court case dealt with the question as to the legality of the intended strike, which was supposed to start on March 13.

It (court) was also asked to determine the ‘locus standi’ of Numsa at the RAF. This after the roads agency claimed that Numsa should not be organising there.

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