The powers of the Labour Court : court orders and the enforcement thereof during violent strikes
Over the years, South Africa has been plagued by prolonged, violent and destructive strikes. Adversarial behaviour to voice demands has unfortunately become entrenched as a tradition in South Africa. This deep-rooted culture of striking has resulted in noteworthy challenges for which there have not been easy solutions on the side of the relevant structures, including the Labour Court. The Labour Court has heard and decided several cases related to strikes of a prolonged, violent and destructive nature. Employers often approach the Labour Court for an interdict to prevent the unlawful conduct in contemplation or in furtherance of an unprotected strike. Despite this, it seems that the failure to obey court interdicts has become progressively prevalent in South Africa. This has subsequently led to contempt of court proceedings instigated by an employer in the Labour Court where an interdict has been disregarded by a union and its members. Ultimately, this research is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of the Labour Court orders and the enforcement thereof in curbing prolonged, violent and destructive strikes. Enforcement relates to consistency, the delivery of just outcomes and the ability of the law in the hands of the Labour Court to stop or bring change to human behaviour during lengthy, violent and destructive strikes. The study provides an informed view of the effectiveness of the Labour Court orders and the extent to which the Labour Court can intervene in preventing prolonged, violent and destructive strikes. The research also aimed to determine whether including compulsory interest arbitration as part of the powers of the Labour Court would go a long way in curbing the occurrence of long, violent and destructive strikes.
- Law