ConCourtEngineering News reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has approached the Constitutional Court to seek the reinstatement of 733 workers who were dismissed by Aveng Trident Steel.  

According to Numsa, the steel fabricator had issued a letter during a Section 189 consultation process in April 2015, demanding that workers accept new changes to their terms and conditions of employment, failing which their contracts would be terminated.  Numsa said the subsequent dismissal of 733 Numsa members had been in violation of the Labour Relations Act, which provided that workers could not be dismissed for refusing a change in their terms and conditions.  The union had taken the matter to the Labour Court, where the dismissals were upheld, and subsequently to the Labour Appeals Court, where the application was also denied.  During the hearings, Aveng argued that the workers were dismissed because of a change in operational requirements and not because of a change in their terms and conditions.  Aveng also claimed that its 2015 letter was issued as a proposal based on operational requirements and not a demand.


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