Today's Labour News

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assmangTimeslive reports that the Labour Court had harsh words on Tuesday for the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) which had sought to challenge the retrenchment of one of its Assmang shop stewards.  

Mandla Phakhathi’s services were terminated - together with those of a number of other employees - on account of Assmang Machadodorp Chrome Works’ operational requirements in April 2015.  Numsa challenged the termination of Phakhathi’s employment on the grounds that it was unfair.  Judge Edwin Tlhotlhalemaje stated that he understood Numsa’s case to be that by virtue of his position as a full-time shop steward‚ Phakhathi was immune from Assmang’s decision to retrench because that position was entrenched by virtue of the provisions of the shop steward agreement.  “There is everything wrong and illogical with the applicants’ approach‚” Thlothlalemaje said.  He noted that when Phakhathi was appointed as a full-time shop steward there had been 700 employees, but the number dwindled to 60 in 2015 and there was no reason why a full-time shop steward was still necessary.  The judge said the fact that an employee was a full-time shop steward did not imply that he or she enjoyed immunity from any operational requirements.  Tlhotlhalemaje also noted that‚ after retrenchments in 2014‚ Phakhathi was no longer a full-time shop-steward as he had had to work at the stores.

  • Read this report by Ernest Mabuza in full at Timeslive

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