Strikes and the amendments to the LRA
Authors Alan Rycroft
Affiliations: Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 36 Issue 1, 2015, p. 1 – 20
This article considers the extent to which the 2014 amendments to the LRA impact on the present law of strikes. Tracing the evolution of the Bill and final Act, the article considers key sections deleted in the process, and comments on the declining role of NEDLAC as a pivotal agency for finalising labour legislation in a consensual manner. Various versions of the Bill empowered the CCMA and Labour Court to suspend a strike in certain circumstances; this third-party intervention has been removed. The benign provision requiring a pre-strike ballot was likewise removed and the article comments on the historical reasons for the aversion of COSATU to strike ballots. Changes to sections on picketing are described. The article, after commenting on the potential for compulsory arbitration, looks at the missed opportunities for meaningful changes but recognises, in Von Holdt’s words, ‘where the underlying social order is unsettled or contested, institutionalisation [of strike law] is likely to remain partial and precarious’.