Today's Labour News

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numsaThe Star reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has told the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) that workers should not be dismissed for refusing to tell on their colleagues as this practice was inherently dangerous and risky.  

Numsa is fighting for 65 of its members fired for derivative misconduct after a 2012 strike at Dunlop’s three associated companies in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal.  Derivative misconduct is misconduct where innocent workers are dismissed for not revealing the identities of their colleagues involved in committing the acts of misconduct during strike action to their employer when, in fact, they have information to identify the perpetrators.  It has been found that derivative misconduct is essentially a breach of the duty of good faith and the culpability of the actual perpetrators is attributed to innocent employees too.  But Numsa insists that workers should not be dismissed for derivative misconduct because they fear being seen as informers and risk their lives.  According to Dunlop, it had direct evidence of incidents of violence and harassment during the month-long strike.  After a disciplinary hearing, 29 employees were dismissed for specific misconduct as well as derivative misconduct while the remaining 78 Numsa members were dismissed for derivative misconduct.  The 65 employees, the subject of Numsa’s appeal to the ConCourt, were all found guilty of derivative misconduct and dismissed.  The appeal comes after variant rulings by the CCMA, the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court.

  • Read this report by Loyiso Sidimba in full at The Star

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