Numerous unions affiliated with two of South Africa’s biggest Union Federations namely SAFTU and COSATU have planned protest action in the form of a National Shutdown on the 23and 24 August 2022. The shutdown is protected in terms of Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995. Accordingly, employees cannot be dismissed for participating in such protest action.
SAFTU has given notice of their intention to start their national shutdown notice from 18:00 pm on the 23rd of August 2022, with notice being given across all nine provinces.
COSATU has given notice for the 24th of August 2022 and it is not yet clear whether it will be nationally or only for specific provinces as their notice filed with NEDLAC has not as yet indicated same.
All unions affiliated with the two federations will require its members to join the shutdown which will adversely affect the operation of businesses as well as service delivery and employers should plan ahead to ensure the safety and smooth operation of its employees and business.
As the protest action does not fall under labour but rather NEDLAC, the affiliated unions would only be required to advice companies in which they have members of their intention to call on these employees to join the protest actions, as they have done this week through indicating their intention and filing of the required certificates with NEDLAC.
Although employees who are members of the affiliated unions cannot be disciplined for taking part in the protest action, employees can however be disciplined in certain instances for misconduct committed during the protest action. Employees who are not members of such affiliated unions being covered under the protection afforded for the protest action, who actively participates in the protest actions may face disciplinary action for failing to attend work without justification.
If you have any questions in relation to the planned action, or actions of your employees during the protest action, kindly contact Invictus on 0861 737 263.