17 December 2020
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is deeply disappointed with the Labour Appeal Court ruling that has dismissed a joint legal action by the Federation’s public sector affiliates to force the government to honour Clause 3.3 of Resolution 1 of 2018, which was the third phase of a 2018 collective bargaining agreement. The Court declared that forcing government to comply with the agreement will be unlawful in terms of sub-sections 213 and 215 of the Constitution.
However, FEDUSA believes that the ruling could only be understood as denying deserved public servants and workers holistically, the right to collective baragining – which is a constitutionally enshrined right. FEDUSA public sector unions are now seriously considering appealing the matter with the Constitutional Court.
The competence of the state to enter into legally binding contracts and agreements has now been placed into severe danger with dire consequences for the entire labour market as government is a key player in society.
FEDUSA considers the ruling to be a public relations disaster for the state as employer and definitely sets a dangerous precedent for the future of collective bargaining and could upset the delicate veneer of industrial peace that has served the country so well in the democratic era. The purpose of collective baragining is defeated if the security of contracts and settlements on such platforms cannot be guaranteed. The very essence of the judgement signifies and condones grand scale corruption in its worst form, robbing deserving public servants of their livelihoods as Government continues to plead poverty, yet deliberately delays arresting and recovering looted and stolen state funds from known perpetrators.
Fedusa will join other like-minded labour federations in the country in ensuring that we report South Africa to the ILO regarding the erosion of the right to collective bargaining.
For interviews please contact:
Dr Lufuno Mulaudzi
FEDUSA Vice President: Public Sector Committee
076 290 5927
Ms Riefdah Ajam
FEDUSA General Secretary
079 696 2625
Mr Ashley Benjamin
FEDUSA Deputy General Secretary
083 258 4433
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
072 637 8096