Volume: Volume 22 - 2018
Article type: Refereed article
Author/s: Nkoane, Paul
Labour laws are enacted essentially to protect and advance workers' rights. The workers' rights espoused in the Constitution and the Labour Relations Act comprise the right to strike. It stands to reason that strikes have become an expedient tool in labour relations. However, strikes in certain sectors of the economy have caused financial loss to both workers and employers. This article is mainly concerned with sectors in which the commencement of strikes adversely affect the economy, and with the essential services sector. The trade unions are mandated by workers to demand higher wages, but often end up advising the same workers to consent to a lower percentage than the one hitherto proposed. In my opinion, this state of affairs needs to be corrected through a change in the methodology of wage negotiations. This conviction resonates with the thinking of those who seek efficient labour dispute resolution machinery. To this end, I formulated two techniques intended to manage strikes, namely judicial intervention and arbitration. Initially, I opted for a system that involved judicial regulation of strikes, that proposal however drew much criticism. At present, I campaign for a more appropriate option, which involves arbitration as a device to break the impasse in industrial actions.
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