The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) would like to support the union federation Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in urging the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to amend subsection 69(12) (c) of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, which was passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday, 20 August 2013, as it grants the powers to the Labour Court to suspend a protected strike or picket entirely instead of interdicting the specific unlawful actions within a strike or picket.
DENOSA believes this clause serves as a punitive measure and equates to clipping the wings of the labour unions from exercising their rights, given that the resort to strike is often as a result of the failure to implement the collective bargaining agreements.
Also, what is of huge concern to DENOSA about this Bill is the amendment of Section 69(1) of the current Act, which provides that a trade union may authorise a picket by its members and supporters. The Bill has scrapped ‘supporters’, which basically disintegrates the essence of solidarity among unions during a strike or picket.
This amendment is a stab at the heart of unions, and further minimises the powers and importance of labour representation, and which makes us to believe that government is heeding the call by big business fraternity to relax labour laws. This does not auger well for the workers.
There are a number of collective bargaining agreements that have not been implemented within the agreed timeframes at the chambers, which have become a main source of frustration to both unions and workers (in our case, these includes Uniform Allowance, Pay Progression and translation as per the OSD for nurses).
By granting the Labour Court the carte blanche to suspend a protected strike or picket, as opposed to the interdiction of a specific act within a strike or picket as enshrined in the current Act, the Bill eliminates the option for labour unions to express their unhappiness over non-implementation of collective bargaining agreements.
The Bill will now go through to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), where if it is approved as it is, it will then be signed by the President to become an Act. DENOSA hopes the NCOP will find it in its consciousness to amend this disturbing subsection, which reverses the rights that the millions of workers have worked so hard for over the years.
For more information contact:
Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
Mobile: 079 875 2663
For more about the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa, refer to www.denosa.org.za
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