XYZ (Pty) Ltd manufactures leather products for the automobile industry and employs approximately 1000 semi-skilled and unskilled employees in Ga-rankuwa outside Pretoria. Since early 2000, the General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (Union A) has represented the majority of the first employer’s workers and has enjoyed the organisational rights regulated by the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (the Act).

On 16 August 2022. Union B (the union) wrote to the employer claiming to represent a large number of its employees. Several meetings between the union and the employer then took place at which the union sought to persuade the employer to grant it the organisational rights contemplated by the Act. It was common cause between the parties, however, that the union represented not a majority, but only 26% of the workers at the employer’s workplace. The employer’s attitude was that it was willing to afford the union access to its premises as contemplated and stop-order facilities. As the union was not representative of a majority of its workforce, it was not willing to recognise the union’s shop stewards, nor was it willing to bargain collectively with the union.

The union then declared a dispute over the question of organisational rights and, in particular, the question of the recognition of its shop stewards and its right to bargain collectively on behalf of its members. That dispute was referred to conciliation at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (the CCMA) but, despite a meeting at the CCMA, remained unresolved. Thereafter the union informed the company that it intended to institute strike action in terms of the Act.

The employer’s view was that the union was not entitled to take strike action to demand the recognition of its shop stewards. The union argued that it was entitled to take strike action, that it had followed the necessary procedures and that the strike was therefore protected in terms of the Act.

Consider the above facts and answer the following questions:
Critically evaluate the acquisition of organisational rights in the South Africa context. In your answer you must consider the position of minority unions in this regard. [25]
Advise Union B (the union) about the proposed strike action. In your answer you must consider relevant International Law instruments and motivate why this is relevant [25]

Answers on Above Questions on Labour Law

Answer 1: It is mainly the Labour Relation Act 66 of 1995 that governs the acquisition of the organisational right in South Africa. The organisational rights are defined as the right to represent employees, the right to access the premises of an employee, the right to stop order facilities, and so on. These rights are crucial to trade unions, as they provide them with the opportunity to represent the workers in the workplace.


Get assistance in the above questions on labour law from the best experts of Student Life Saviour in South Africa.

Content Removal Request

If you believe that the content above belongs to you, and you don’t want it to be published anymore, then request for its removal by filling the details below. It will only be removed if you can provide sufficient evidence of its ownership.