The Labour Court has placed an interdict on the scheduled national bank strike that was to occur Friday, September 27. The strike was promised to disrupt banking throughout the country as unions protest against retrenchments in the field.

The South African Society of Bank Officials (Sasbo), an affiliate of trade union federation Cosatu, had planned a major banking strike that would have seen anything banking related come to a standstill. Banks were to protest against the use of increasing use of digitised systems that have led to many bank workers becoming retrenched.

Any protestors that go ahead with the strike will not be protected, and run the risk of losing their jobs. Bank branches are expected to resume as usual.

The interdict was launched by Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) on the grounds that the protest had not followed correct organisational protocol. Kaizer Moyane, the National Economic Development and Labour Council’s convener for BUSA, told Fin24 that strike organisers had not consulted Nedlac before planning the strike, which is against section 77 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

“Cosatu and Sasbo have failed to comply with the provisions of the LRA. Any person who takes part in the intended protest action does not enjoy protections granted by the LRA. Cosatu and Sasbo are interdicted from continuing with the intended strike action; Cosatu is instructed to advise its members that the intended strike action is unlawful,” says Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker.

Cosatu and Sasbo are in the process of appealing the interdict, and will resubmit plans to strike.

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