Labour Law Sibergramme Issue 1 of 2017

Download issue:  LL SG 2017 01

We have pleasure in attaching the 1st issue of the 2017 Labour Law Sibergramme, in which John Grogan deals with the following cases:

Democratic Alliance v South African Broadcasting Corporation SOC Ltd (SABC) and others; Democratic Alliance v Motsoeneng and others 
(3104/2016; 18107/16) [2016] ZAWCHC 188 (12 December 2016) (Le Grange & Rogers JJ)

This judgment was handed down while the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications was conducting its inquiry into the affairs of the SABC. It was the latest in a series of judgments dealing with the murky career of the corporation’s COO, Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and will probably not be the last.

MacDonald’s Transport Upington (Pty) Ltd v Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and others
(JA10/2016) [2016] ZALAC 32; (2016) 37 (ILJ) 2593 (LAC) (28 June 2016), unreported (Tlaletsi AJP, Ndlovu JA & Sutherland JA)

MacDonald’s Transport dismissed several AMCU members for striking in support of a demand for organisational rights for their union. AMCU referred a dispute to a bargaining council.
By then, the company had had enough of AMCU. It argued that the union could not represent the workers because their membership of the union had lapsed. The arbitrator agreed, but AMCU took that ruling on review. The Labour Court set the decision aside. MacDonald’s Transport appealed.

NUMSA obo Sangweni v Rafee NO and others 
(JR1022/12) [2016] ZALCJHB 512 (31 May 2016), unreported (Lagrange J)

For reasons never explained, Mr Sangweni decided to take photos of his employer’s production line and was determined to keep them.
When his supervisor saw Sangweni snapping away, he told him to stop and to delete the photos from his cellphone. On hearing of this, higher management instructed Sangweni to hand over his phone so that they could check whether the pictures had been deleted. He refused to do so, saying that the phone was his private property and that he was entitled to take pictures wherever he pleased.
Sangweni was fired for his pains. During the ensuing arbitration, he changed his tune. Sangweni denied that he had taken pictures of the production line.

Woolworths (Pty) Ltd v South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) and others 
(JA38/15) [2016] ZALAC 41; (2016) 37 ILJ 2831 (LAC) (27 July 2016), unreported (Tlaletsi AJP, Ndlovu JA & Sutherland JA)

This case demonstrates that, in rare instances, commissioners’ rulings on whether dismissal is an “appropriate sanction” for proven misconduct can be upset on review (or appeal).

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