Alert: An Update on the Bargaining Council Extension

bargaining council

It has come to our attention that members require some clarity on the Bargaining Council situation. Below you will find some context, as well as an update on FEDHASA’s progress to date, along with suggested next steps for our members.

Background information

The existing small Bargaining Council – the Bargaining Council for Fast Food, Restaurant, Catering and Allied Trades has been extended to non-parties by the Minister of Employment and Labour in a Government Gazette published on 8 January 2020 and effective from 18 January 2020.

If you are in the Johannesburg or Pretoria areas, you are likely already covered by other existing Bargaining Councils and this extension does not apply to you.

By a quirk in the legislation, no opportunity to comment or make representations was given beforehand to those enterprises which are not members of the parties to the Bargaining Council.

FEDHASA is of the opinion that the parties to the Bargaining Council, both the employer parties (CATRA and GEO) and the trade unions, do not, by a considerable shortfall, represent the majority of employers or employees.

We believe that it is unconscionable that a minority of employers enter into an agreement that becomes enforceable to the rest of the industry.

Next steps

FEDHASA has met with representatives of the Department of Employment and Labour (DoEL). The meeting was amiable, however they informed us that due to the fact that the legislation was already enacted, the only route to address it is via court action. We informed the DoEL representatives that we would reluctantly explore that avenue, a process which is now underway.

Our court applications focus on the statistics and the verification thereof and we believe we have solid prospects in the matter.

What this means for you

In the interim, you have up to 30 days before you have to register with the Bargaining Council. We trust that our urgent interdict application to stay the implementation of this legislation will be wrapped up with weeks to spare.

Once the interdict is in place, FEDHASA will again be approaching the Courts to prove that there is no representation and the Gazetted matter should be totally set aside.

We would suggest that you should not rush to register with the new Bargaining Council as yet, but rather await the outcome of the legal process.

We will continue to keep you updated on any new developments and the outcomes of the court action in the coming weeks.

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