strike thumb medium85 85Business Day comments that as the platinum wage negotiations look likely to soon conclude without any strike action, a new legal requirement for unions to conduct a secret vote before striking will remain untested for now.  

The requirement came into effect in January and obliges unions to conduct a secret ballot among their members before a legally protected strike can begin.  For all the bravado from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) that wage negotiations in the platinum sector could culminate in a strike, they appear to have gone rather smoothly and a secret ballot was in the event not required.  It would have been an interesting case as there is an impression in the sector that Amcu uses intimidation tactics to force employees into striking — something the union flatly denies.  The secret balloting will now have to wait to be properly tested, but the outcome of any such vote will at last shed a light on just how in touch unions are with their members.  But meantime, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA has said it will challenge the law in the Constitutional Court.  However, until a court decides otherwise, the requirement for a secret ballot remains law and any strike not backed by a secret vote will likely be interdicted.

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