Today's Labour News

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strike thumb medium85 85SowetanLive reports that bus drivers have scored a big victory with the Essential Service Committee (ESC) ruling that public transport in general cannot be classified as an essential service.  

The National Black Consumer Council applied for such a classification following last year's crippling strike, which began on 18 April and ended on 14 May a, affecting about one million commuters.  The ESC is a statutory body established in terms of section 70 of the Labour Relations Act to conduct investigations on services deemed essential and then to designate them accordingly.  The ESC dismissed the application in February, but served the ruling to concerned parties two weeks ago.  In terms of the act, an essential service is "a service the interruption of which endangers the life, personal safety or health of the whole or any part of the population".  Advocate Luvuyo Bono, chairperson of the ESC, found in his ruling "the applicants' arguments relied more on the financial impact that the strike action in the bus transport industry had on commuters rather than the endangerment to life, personal safety and health of the commuters … On the evidence before us, public transport cannot be designated as an essential service."  The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), which had opposed the application, said:  "We are happy the ESC is sober-minded and was able to see the frivolous application for what it was."

  • Read the full original of Isaac Mahlangu’s report on this story at SowetanLive

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