Draken Industries CC v Maande and Others (JA69/2013) [2014] ZALAC 42 (19 August 2014)

Coram: Davis JA, Molemela AJA et Sutherland AJA

Heard:  20 May 2014   Delivered:               19 August 2014

Appeal disallowed with costs.

LAC summary:

Review of arbitration award- review test restated- employees dismissed for allegedly misconducting themselves during strike.  Mutually destructive evidence at arbitration proceedings.  Balance of probabilities favouring employees’ version.  Commissioner finding dismissal substantially unfair and reinstating employees.  Labour Court upholding award- Appeal- commissioner misapplying his mind to picketing rules and to certain evidence- such misapplication not vitiating the entire award- Award falling within the band of reasonableness.  Remedy- employer failing to prove trust relationship irretrievably broken- reinstatement practical.

 [1] This is an appeal against the judgment of the Labour Court (Barnes, AJ) dismissing an application for a review of an award rendered by the first respondent (commissioner).  In his award, the commissioner found that the appellant’s dismissal of seventeen employees represented by the third respondent was substantively unfair and granted an order of retrospective reinstatement.

The court a quo found that the commissioner’s decision was one that a reasonable decision-maker could reach and accordingly dismissed the review application.  The appeal is with leave of the court a quo.