Today's Labour News

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concourtTimeslive reports that the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) heard on Thursday that it should adopt a position that if racism was proved in the workplace‚ dismissal should follow as a result unless there were exceptional circumstances.  

This was put forward by manufacturer Duncanmec‚ which dismissed eight employees in 2013 for signing during the course of an unprotected strike a struggle song in isiZulu that‚ when translated‚ means: "Climb on top of the roof and tell them that my mother is rejoicing when we hit the boer”.  The workers challenged their dismissal and in May 2014 an arbitrator found that the employees had been unfairly dismissed.  In July 2016‚ the Labour Court dismissed Duncanmec’s application to review the arbitrator’s award, saying that it had been unfair to dismiss the employees for singing a popular struggle song even though it may have offended some managers‚ particularly white managers.  The Labour Appeal Court later dismissed the company’s appeal against that finding.  Duncanmec then approached the Constitutional Court.  The lawyer for Duncanmec told the court on Thursday:  “Dismissal should follow unless exceptional circumstances exist. In this case‚ exceptional circumstances do not exist.”  He argued the phrasing of the song‚ which referred to hitting a white person‚ should not be justified more than 20 years into democracy.

  • Read this report by Ernest Mabuza in full at Timeslive


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