NUMSA has now given notice of their intentions to start a nationwide strike action at 05H00 on Tuesday 5 October 2021.
NUMSA’s current demand is a three-year deal, with an 8% increase in year one and 2% plus CPI in years two and three, with the option to renegotiate year three should 2% plus CPI not exceed inflation.
This will be a protected strike action for all employees that are members of NUMSA.
The employers right to lockout.
Employers are entitled to lock striking employees out of their workplaces. This lockout must be done through an official notice and on 48 hours’ notice. If you want to follow this route or if you require more information regarding lockouts, please contact your local SEESA office for assistance. We will advise you on your specific circumstances and draft the necessary notices.
Who may join the strike action?
The notice issued by NUMSA entitles all its members to embark on the protected strike. Other employees in the industry, who are not members of NUMSA, may also join the strike action. Their strike will also be protected provided they also give their employer 48 hours’ notice of their intention to join the strike.
Should they fail to give their own notice, their strike action will be unprotected. Unprotected strike action is misconduct, and disciplinary action may be taken against any employees who embark on unprotected strike action. Should any of your non-NUMSA employees join or threaten to join the strike, we advise you to contact your local SEESA office for advice immediately.
Non-unionised employees are frequently unaware of this requirement and often join the strike under the misconception that they may join the strike without following any procedures of their own. During subsequent disciplinary action, they then submit that they were not aware of the legal technicalities and that the disciplinary action taken by the employer is therefore unfair. To manage this eventuality, employers may consider pre-emptively notifying non-unionised employees of this requirement and the possible consequences should they not adhere to it. This will strengthen the employers’ disciplinary cases.
The one possible downside of such notification is that it may draw non-union employees’ attention to the fact that there is a legal way for them to join the strike in a protected manner. Therefore, it may cause more non-union employees to join the strike than would have been the case without such notification.
The employer must decide whether such notification is desirable according to their individual business needs. We have prepared a pro forma draft notice to employees addressing the above options. If you are unsure of your options, please contact your local SEESA branch for more information.
No work, no pay
The normal rule of no work no pay will be applicable to any employee who joins the strike action irrespective of whether the strike is protected or unprotected.
If you require any further information regarding this upcoming strike, please contact your local SEESA office , alternatively, please leave your contact details on our website.