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Numsa says its members may be forced to go on a secondary strike - here's how this works

by , 31 July 2014
Eye Witness News reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is accusing the National Employers Association of South Africa (Neasa) of forcing its members to embark on a secondary strike in the metal, engineering and automotive industry.

The union this week signed a wage agreement with most stakeholders in the sector, saying the deal marked the end of their four week long strike. But Neasa didn't sign the settlement, saying it was sidelined during negotiations. As a result, Neasa has vowed to continue to lock-out striking workers.

This matter has certainly raised questions about strikes in South Africa, more specifically secondary strikes. Read on to find out what a secondary strike is and how it works so you'll know how to handle it if it happens in your workplace.


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What you need to know about a secondary strike
 

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service defines a secondary strike as: A strike or conduct to further a strike, to support a strike by other employees against their employer.'
 

A secondary strike is basically a sympathy strike.
 

According to jrattorneys, secondary strikes are used by employees of other employers to put pressure on the primary employer to accept the demand of the employees.
 

A secondary strike must comply with these five requirements for it to be protected


In this article, we explain that a secondary strike must comply with these five requirements for it to be protected:
 

1. The primary strike by the primary employees must be protected;

2. The secondary employees must give their employer at least seven days' notice of the secondary strike;

3. The potential harm to the secondary employer must be minimal.

4. There must be a link between the primary and secondary employers; and

5. The strike will be protected if the secondary employer could place pressure on the primary employer to resolve the original dispute.

The bottom line: Employees have a right to embark on an unprotected strike. Now that you know what a secondary strike is and how it works, we hope you'll be able to handle it effectively if it happens in your workplace.

 

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