- It is now illegal to embark on a strike without a secret ballot, says Makhosonke Buthelezi
- The acting Labour Department spokesperson revealed that the law was recently passed
- This will make it harder for unions to mobilise employees for future legal protest action.
The Office of Registrar of Labour Relations revealed in a statement that it has now legally become harder to embark on strikes.
The Labour Relations Amendment Act of 2018 came into effect at the beginning of 2019, making it a legal requirement to conduct a secret ballot of members before continuing on to strikes or lockouts.
Briefly.co.za gathered that unions, federations and employer organisations have been encouraged to make the necessary amendments to their constitutions in light of the new law.
Makhosonke Buthelezi, acting spokesperson for the department, issued a statement saying:
"The guidelines on balloting for strikes or lockouts issued in terms of Section 59 (9) of the LRA relate to: that every trade union or employer’s organisation must before calling a strike or lockout conduct a ballot of members in respect of whom it intends to call the strike or lockout; a system of voting; member rights in regard to failure or refusal to participate; permit in regard to balloting; unless stipulate a requirement for a trade union to obtain the consent of the employer to hold a ballot; procedures to be followed when conducting a secret ballot."
So what would the consequences of failing to conduct a secret ballot? Buthelezi explained that deregistration, cancellation of registration and placing the guilty party on administration would face entities that opted to ignore the new law.
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