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Industrial Relations

Win union and worker support with trust and communication

According to Ricardo Semler, most executives’ typical knee jerk response to a strike is to make the strikers’ lives as miserable as possible. A firm believer that labour unions are more than a necessary evil, Semler sees these institutions as one of the few legitimate agents of workplace change.


Trade union held in contempt of court and heavily fined

To stop unprotected strikes, most often employers who face this type of action look to interdict this type of unlawful behaviour from carrying on. However, often the employees and the responsible trade union simply disregard the provisions of the interdict. This has sparked the debate about if these interdicts are worth the paper they are printed on.


Turmoil in SA leads to industrial relations paralysis

The current labour relations environment in South Africa is fraught with complexity on almost every front. As a result, employers are treading extremely carefully in response to basic industrial relations (IR) issues, particularly when those issues are associated with industrial action. Why? Because the way unions and striking workers behave during industrial action have significantly changed. 


Trade unions and the duty of care (toward own members)

Recent catastrophic developments - especially on the platinum mines as well as the eruption of long-simmering problems between Cosatu and upstart unions - have resulted in many trade union members taking an introspective approach and demanding that issues related to employment and service conditions be addressed.


What is the state of industrial relations in South Africa?


When discussing Cosatu’s recent actions, contextualise the discussion against the backdrop of the current state of industrial relations in South Africa.