CCMA should make advisory arbitration award to end Transnet strike

Issued by Dr Michael Cardo MP – DA Shadow Minister of Employment and Labour
13 Oct 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Dr Michael Cardo MP.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) should use its powers in terms of Section 150 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) to end the economically catastrophic Transnet strike.

Ongoing industrial action at the national ports and rail-freight operator is hobbling commodity exports and causing billion-Rand losses to the economy.

On top of all the other economic challenges South Africa faces thanks to an incompetent ANC government – rolling blackouts, waning investor confidence and the threat of greylisting, to name but a few – the Transnet strike promises to deal the economy a sucker punch. With every passing day the strike causes more damage. It needs to end now.

Thus far, the intervention of Thulas Nxesi, the Minister of Employment and Labour, has proved ineffectual. Clearly he is afraid to antagonise his trade union comrades. However, the time has come for the Minister to direct the CCMA in using its legislated powers to bring an end to the strike.

Section 150A of the LRA enables the Director of the CCMA to appoint an advisory arbitration panel, in the public interest, to make an advisory arbitration award in industrial disputes. One of the grounds on which this can be done is if a strike causes or exacerbates “an acute national…crisis affecting the conditions for the normal social and economic functioning of the…society”. The Transnet dispute more than meets this criterion.

The advisory arbitration panel is empowered to issue an advisory arbitration award. The award is binding on the parties as per section 150D(1) of the LRA, if one or more of the trade unions and/or employer’s organisations that are party to the dispute, accept or are deemed to have accepted the award.

Minister Nxesi must stop pussyfooting around. Section 150 of the LRA needs to be invoked to full effect. And the Transnet strike needs to be broken immediately.