Today's Labour News

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saccawuBusinessLive reports that the South African Commercial and Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (Saccawu) succeeded on Tuesday in having dozens of employees who were dismissed by Woolworths in 2002 reinstated by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).  

The union approached the top court following a decision of the Labour Appeal Court that only awarded the workers remuneration compensation of 12 months’ pay for being unfairly dismissed when, in 2002, the company sought to convert their contracts from 45-hour-per-week, full-time contracts of employment to 40 hours per week on a flexible working hours system.  In its unanimous ruling, the court found that Woolworths’ argument that it was “not reasonably practicable” to reinstate the employees meant the exercise was a “mere inconvenience”.  The company argued that the posts from which the workers were dismissed had ceased to exist, but the court did not agree, saying:  “They were employed as cashiers and there has been no suggestion that the number of cashiers has decreased.  It is the conditions of employment that have changed and not the positions themselves.”  The court emphasised that the parties were free to resume talks aimed at reaching an agreement on the flexi-time work issue.

  • Read the full original report by Theto Mahlakoana at BusinessLive


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