Business Unity SA (Busa) will know on Thursday whether it has succeeded in stopping Cosatu and its affiliate SA Society of Bank Officials’ (Sasbo) protest action against job losses. Picture: REUTERS
JOHANNESBURG - Business Unity SA (Busa) will know on Thursday whether it has succeeded in stopping Cosatu and its affiliate SA Society of Bank Officials’ (Sasbo) protest action against job losses.

Labour Court Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker will deliver her order in Busa’s bid to interdict Cosatu and Sasbo from embarking on a total shutdown of the country’s financial sector.  She will give her reasons for her decision later.

Busa told Rabkin-Naicker on Wednesday that the planned protest action was unlawful and wanted the country’s largest trade union federation and affiliate with 73 000 members not to entice and encourage their members to embark on the shutdown.

Sasbo is unhappy with contemplated and current job losses in the financial sector.

Cosatu believes the country is in an economic crisis.

Advocate Alistair Franklin, for Busa, said the protest action should be halted as it would be disruptive and potentially very damaging.

Franklin told the Labour Court that Busa tried to halt the protest action by appealing to Cosatu and Sasbo to reconsider their plans.

Busa argued that Cosatu and Sasbo could not issue notices in terms of section 77 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) in August 2017 and still use them for Friday’s protest action in the financial sector and another rolling mass action against the economic crisis scheduled for October 7.

”A union cannot keep a section 77(1)(b) notice on ice and pull it out of its pocket anytime,” said Franklin.

But Cosatu’s advocate Daniel Berger said the context of the economic crisis the federation issued the notices for in 2017 had not changed this year.

”The current wave of retrenchments is of great concern not just to unions but to society,” said Berger.

He said Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council) processes for the approval of a section 77 protest action to promote or defend socio-economic interests of workers were not time sensitive and therefore the 2017 notices were still valid.

Corne Goosen, representing Sasbo, said Busa failed to respond to the union’s notice and also made no attempt to do so.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE