The prevalent and violent industrial action in the mining industry : the need to curb the prevalent and violent strike action in South Africa.
Bavu, Siyakudumisa Benjamin.
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The right to strike is a fundamental human right recognized in international law and the South African Constitution. In South Africa, employees have a constitutional right to strike. Section 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides all workers with labour rights including the right to strike. The right to strike is given effect to in chapter IV of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (hereinafter referred to as the LRA). The LRA provides for the requirements and limitations which employees, in exercising their right to strike, ought to comply with in order to ensure that their strike is protected. In terms of the LRA a strike is protected if it complies with the provisions of the LRA. The purpose of this study is to explore the manner in which the right to strike has been exercised recently in South Africa, with specific focus on the mining sector. It will be shown that recent strikes in the mining sector have been unprotected and characterised by an element of violence. This will be done to establish whether the limitations thereof, intended to combat unprotected strikes, serve the purpose of curbing the unprotected strikes. As a means of assessing how the regulation of strike action could be improved, this study will, inter alia, compare the law which regulated the right to strike in terms of the previous Labour Relations Act No. 28 of 1956 and in terms of the current Labour Relations Act No. 66 of 1995 which replaced the former. The study will then suggest a more effective legal means by which to curb unprotected strikes like those seen recently in the mining industry. This would involve adjustments, additions, and the tightening of strike laws. Some of these changes would involve reintroducing elements of the repealed Labour Relations Act of 1956.
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