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Protected fuel tank strike gets underway! Do you know when a strike is considered protected?

by , 09 September 2013
Thousands of workers in the motor industry, among them fuel jockeys at petrol stations, have embarked on a strike over higher wages, Wheels24 reports. According to the report, the strike will see thousands of fuel forecourt staff, workers at components retailers, panel-beaters, car and vehicle parts dealers, workshops and vehicle dealer out down tools. And here's the thing - because it's a protected strike, we're just going to have to wait while unions and affected parties battle it out before business goes back to normal. If you're wondering what a protected strike actually means, read on...

According to Wheels24, employer organisations, the Fuel Retailers' Association and the Retail Motor Industry have been given notice of the strike.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim says: 'Regrettably, employers took a very irresponsible stance by pulling back from the engagements which were intended to avert the strike.'

'Employers were unhappy with Numsa's decision to issue a 48-hour notice to strike,' he added in the report.

Giving notice to strike is just one of the requirements that must be met before a strike is considered protected.

Do you know what the other requirements are?

Strike action is considered protected under these circumstances:

According to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, there are certain procedural requirements that must be met before your employees can embark upon a protected strike.

Step #1: They must have referred the dispute for conciliation

  1. A dispute of mutual interest must be referred to the CCMA or bargaining council; and
  2. Employees acquire the right to strike if a certificate of outcome stating that the issue has been resolved has been issued or a period of 30 days (or any extension of that period agreed to between the parties) has elapsed since the referral was first received by the bargaining council or the CCMA.

Step #2: They must have given notice of intention to strike

You must receive the notice of intention to strike from your employees or their union in writing at least 48 hours before the strike begins. This is what Numsa has done.

The notice must indicate when the strike will start.

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains that, if the dispute relates to a collective agreement concluded in a bargaining council, the notice must be given to that council as well. If you're a member of an employer's organisation that is a party to the dispute, notice must be given to that employer's organisation.

Step #3: If the issue in dispute concerns a refusal to bargain, they must have obtained an advisory arbitration award

You employees must have obtained an advisory award before they can give you notice of intention to strike.

Well there you have it. A strike will only be protected if these procedural requirements have been met.



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