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An interdict isn't your only response to an unprotected strike. Here's how to take it up a level

by , 30 March 2016
If your employees don't follow the correct procedures for a strike, or end up striking over a prohibited issue, their strike will be regarded as illegal and unprotected.

Now in response to such a strike, you have various legal options to choose from, as is stated in Section 68 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

The most obvious of all those options would be to approach the Labour Court for an interdict.

But did you know that you can also take action against the union, along with its striking members, for compensation?

That's right! But it's worth noting that before awarding compensation, the Court will look into certain factors.

Here are 7 factors which you should tick off in order to ensure that your compensation will be awarded...


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When it comes to dismissing a striking employee if you don't follow the right procedures you could be taken to the CCMA...

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Factor#1: What is the financial position of the union along with its members?

It simply wouldn't make sense to award huge claims against a smaller union which would ultimately make it insolvent. Nor would it be good to put your employees in circumstances where they owe you huge amounts of money.

The Court will more than likely take this into consideration before determining whether or not you should be awarded any large claim you might have.
Factor#2: What was the duration of the strike?

If the strike was longer, it means that there will be more damage. And the Court will take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to award you compensation.
Factor#3: Did the employees try to comply with the pre-strike procedures as laid out in the LRA?
In other words, while there might have been a technical error in the strike's procedure, the union and its members may have truly believed that their strike was legal, and that clear attempts were made to try and comply with all pre-strike procedures.

The Court will take this into consideration. And if it finds that they did make an effort, they could show sympathy towards them and deny your claim.

Factor#4: Was the strike in response to your own unjustified conduct?

If your conduct is discovered to have been unreasonable before the strike, which in turn led to it happening, the Court may deny your claim for compensation.

*To learn what the other 3 factors are, head over to Chapter S 02 in your Labour Law for Managers handbook.

If you don't already have this useful labour resource, click here. 

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