Cosatu and Sasbo will file an urgent appeal of the Labour Court judgment interdicting their protest action. Picture: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg - Cosatu and its affiliate, the SA Society of Bank Officials (Sasbo), are not backing down from their fight against retrenchments and the country's economic crisis. They are expected to file an urgent appeal of the Labour Court judgment interdicting their protest action.

Labour Court Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naiker on Tuesday granted the federation and its affiliate leave to appeal her ruling stopping protests scheduled for last Friday and next Monday.

Rabkin-Naiker was highly critical of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), which was hauled before the Labour Court with Cosatu and Sasbo by Business Unity SA (Busa) but did not oppose the lawsuit.

"In my view, therefore, given the  above and the trite principles for final relief, Busa failed to establish that section 77(1)(c) [of the Labour Relations Act] was not complied with," reads Rabkin-Naiker's judgment.

She said what remained of Busa’s case was the issue of the delay in the issuing of the first section 77(1)(d) notice and the fact that three further such notices were issued based on the referral in August 2017.

According to Rabkin-Naiker, the facts before her in Busa's application do not simply to reflect that Cosatu was dilatory in pressing its right to organise its protests and that the other social partners at Nedlac could be described supine in reaction to the issues raised in Cosatu and Sasbo's notices. 

She said the message in her judgment to the Nedlac social  partners was that: “VUKANI!  WAKE UP".

Sasbo instructed its legal team on an urgent basis, to ask the court to provide us with the full reasons of the court decision.

"It is our intention to appeal the judgement. Although the court has interdicted the planned action, let us acknowledge the strong support that you have shown from within and outside the finance sector," the union said in a message to its 73 000 members.

Sasbo believes it has sent a strong message to the finance sector with its planned action.

"We reiterate that Sasbo is principally and fundamentally opposed to job losses and that we remain committed to protect the rights and advance the interests of our members," Sasbo told its members.

The union is confident that it will promote and defend its members' socio-economic interests.

Among the reasons cited by Cosatu for embarking on the protest action were the extortionate and extraordinary bonuses paid to executives while companies are retrenching and the astronomical salaries for bosses.

The federation accuses businesses of dumping workers instead of reducing executives’ salaries in order to continue reaping profits and preserve their pay.

Political Bureau