On 23 September 2011 the Minster of Labour published a notice in the Government Gazette purporting to extend the collective agreement concluded by MEIBC to various non-parties. NEASA applied to the Labour Court to have the Minister’s decision declared unlawful and to set aside the government notice as well.
According to a news-flash from NEASA received last Friday, on 20 December 2012 Justice Van Niekerk made the following order
1. The decision by the Minister of Labour to extend the agreement between Seifsa and trade unions in 2011 (currently referred to as the ‘Meibc main agreement’) is set aside.
2. The enabling government notice (dated 23/9/11) is declared invalid and of no force and effect.
3. However, in light of “recent events in the platinum and gold mines and in the agricultural sector” and in order to avoid “uncertainty, confusion, tension, anxiety and potentially serious disputes which could undermine orderly collective bargaining and labour peace” and “in the general public interest”, the order as per paragraphs 1 and 2 above is suspended for a period of four months in order to enable the Minister to attempt to correct the situation.
The judgment is still unreported nor is it available via Saflii. As soon as it becomes available this post will be updated.