Today's Labour News

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saccawu thumb100 BusinessLive reports that the SA Commercial Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (Saccawu) said on Wednesday that employees who were retrenched by Woolworths for not accepting the terms of the conversion to flexitime in 2012 must be reinstated.  

On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) reserved judgment in a case against Woolworths brought by the union, which is seeking leave to appeal against a ruling by the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) in a case dealing with Woolworths’s conversion to flexitime.  The case involved 44 workers, all Saccawu members, who had been retrenched when they did not accept the conversion, early retirement or voluntary severance.  Saccawu applied to the Labour Court, which held that Woolworths had failed to prove, on a balance of probabilities, that the dismissal of the employees was operationally justifiable.  It also held that Woolworths had failed appropriately to consider alternatives to dismissal.  Woolworths was ordered to reinstate the dismissed workers retrospectively from the date of their dismissal without loss of pay.  Woolworths appealed to the LAC, which agreed with the Labour Court that the dismissals had been unfair, but did not agree with the remedy since the full-time posts were since redundant.  Instead the LAC awarded the payment of 12 months’ compensation.

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