The planned banking strike by trade union Cosatu and banking union Sasbo has been stopped in its tracks by a Labour Court ruling on Thursday morning. Picture: REUTERS
JOHANNESBURG - The planned banking strike by trade union Cosatu and banking union Sasbo has been stopped in its tracks by a Labour Court ruling on Thursday morning. 

The  Court ruled the planned banking sector would be unprotected. Business Unity South Africa (Busa) wanted the court to declare the looming banking sector strike unprotected.

At least 50 000 people were expected to join a banking sector national strike led by the finance union Sasbo (formerly the SA Society of Bank Officials), unless Busa was granted its interdict.

The strike call from Sasbo came in the wake of moves by South Africa's big four banks to downsize by closing some branches and merging others to align banking services. 

Standard Bank closed 104 branches, affecting more than 1,000 jobs. Nedbank, FNB and Absa have also trimmed branches, with Absa reducing its own from from 885 in 2011 to 698 in this year's first quarter.

Busa was seeking to stop the protest as it argued that the trade union federation Cosatu’s section 77 notice sent to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) may not satisfied the requirements for the strike to be legally protected.

Busa said the Nedlac notice was first issued in August 2017 and thus should not be relied on in 2019.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE