Johannesburg - A private member's bill seeking to prevent strike-related violence will be submitted to Parliament soon, the DA said on Monday.
“The Democratic Alliance respects workers’ constitutionally guaranteed right to engage in lawful protest action. However, a balance must be struck between workers’ rights and the rule of law,” DA MP Ian Ollis said in a statement.
The DA would submit a private member's bill, or a draft law introduced by an MP, seeking to introduce legislation that would force unions to take practical steps to prevent strike-related violence.
This would include educating workers about the law, forcing unions to provide marshals to help with crowd control, and the extension of crowd control training available to more police.
Ollis also proposed empowering courts to force employers and unions into arbitration where strikes were excessively violent, or declare such a strike unprotected.
In cases where unions had not taken certain measures to prevent violence and damage to property, courts should also have the power to award damages against that union.
“Violent strike action not only immediately threatens public well-being and property, but it also threatens confidence in South Africa’s economy,” he said. - Sapa