Wage Increases and Unfair Discrimination – The Remedy

Posted: December 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

In Safcor Freight (Pty) Ltd t/a Safcor Panalpina v South African Freight and Dock Workers Union, increases were given solely to non-unionized employees as negotiations with the relevant union was only set for a later stage.  


The Labour Appeal Court per Murphy AJA (now JA), not surprisingly,  found that the said “conduct was… [a] form of anti-union discrimination as proscribed by section 5(2)(c) and section 5(3) of the LRA.”


More importantly, Murphy AJA found that section 158(1)(a)(iii) of the LRA confers upon the Labour Court, “[t]he power to make any appropriate order including an order directing the performance of any particular act which order, when implemented, will remedy a wrong and give effect to the primary objects of the LRA”.  In casu this power extended to the Court ordering Safcor to afford the unionized employees the same increases as afforded to the non-unionized employees and further backdated these increases to the date of implementation.

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