The Labour Court declared that four agreements were valid and binding on the parties.  It was accepted that employers have a right and duty to collectively bargain.  The collective bargaining process should ‘not be rendered unmanageable by the apparent inability or unwillingness of the two camps to find a resolution within a reasonable period’.  The LC was concerned about the consequences of the power struggle on the ordinary members of NTM.  It appeared the membership contributions were being used to fund the seemingly endless and ineffective campaign of ‘lawfare’ that the two camps have engaged in over the last few years.

SA Airways (Soc) Ltd v National Transport Movement (J1872/2015) [2016] ZALCJHB 174 (12 May 2016) per Moultrie AJ.

LC summary:

Application by employers for a declaratory and interdictory relief that collective agreements are valid and enforceable despite dispute within union as to authority of those purporting to conclude agreements on its behalf – such agreements not void but voidable – no order sought setting disputed agreements aside – agreements declared valid and enforceable – interdictory relief dismissed in absence of reasonable apprehension of harm

Application by employers for declaratory and interdictory relief that certain persons constitute lawful leadership of union – factual dispute – application of Plascon-Evans rule – absence of clear or prima facie right – absence of locus standi – application dismissed

Trades union – power struggle and leadership dispute – potential infringements of rights of employers and members to meaningful collective bargaining – possible remedies