Cosatu said the battle against job losses at banks has only been "postponed and not cancelled". File Photo: IOL

JOHANNESBURG – Finance trade union Sasbo will launch an urgent appeal against the labour court judgment that barred banking sector members from embarking on a strike.

The trade union's mother body, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said the battle against job losses at banks has only been "postponed and not cancelled".

"Cosatu has noted the decision by the court to interdict the planned Financial Strike that was organised by Sasbo and Cosatu," Cosatu said in a statement on Thursday.

"We totally disagree with the court’s decision but we respect our judicial system so we will abide by the decision while launching an urgent appeal against this ruling. We call on all our members and workers who were ready to go on strike tomorrow to respect the court’s decision and report for work tomorrow but remain battle-ready for the battle ahead." 

Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker ruled that Cosatu and Sasbo had failed to comply with provisions of section 77 (1) of the Labour Relations Act, which governs protests to promote and defend the socio-economic rights of workers. Business Unity SA (Busa) headed to court to stop the planned nationwide Friday strike, arguing that Sasbo did not follow proper procedures before embarking on the strike action.

Sasbo is up in arms over banking sector retrenchments, due mainly to industry digitisation.

South Africa's big four banks are downsizing operations 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 885 in 2011 to 698 in this year's first quarter.

African News Agency (ANA)