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3 December 2014

Following the dismissal by the Labour Court of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa’s urgent application to stop the Metal and Engineering Industry Bargaining Council (MEIBC) from requesting the Minister of Labour to extend the July 2014 Seifsa/trade union agreement, NEASA, on 2 December 2014, filed an urgent application for leave to appeal the whole of the judgement by Justice Rabkin-Naicker on 1 July 2014.


The urgent appeal by NEASA is based on multiple grounds, amongst others, that the Court erred:-


– in finding that organisations/persons, other than constitutionally elected representatives, can vote at meetings of the Management Committee or other structures of the MEIBC;


– in (impliedly) finding that the MEIBC’s constitution is of no relevance when a decision is taken to request the Minister to extend an agreement to non-parties;


– in finding that parties/persons, who are otherwise not entitled to vote, are entitled to vote on the extension of an agreement;


– in finding that the arbitration initiated by NEASA on the constitutionality of the MEIBC, is still ongoing, whilst NEASA won that arbitration back in 2011; and


– in (apparently) finding that Seifsa, a federation of employers’ organisations, is an employers’ organisation in terms of the Labour Relations Act.


On 2 December 2014, NEASA also petitioned the Minister of Labour and informed her of the fact that NEASA disagrees with many of the Labour Court’s findings on issues of law and fact and that NEASA has been advised that there are overwhelming prospects that a higher court will reach a different conclusion.


‘We have requested the Minister to hold any extension decision in abeyance until the urgent appeal before the Labour Appeal Court is finalised. The approach we suggest could avoid unnecessary future litigation in which precisely the same issues, which form the subject matter of the urgent appeal, would be raised,’ says Gerhard Papenfus, NEASA Chief Executive.


For more information:


Sya van der Walt-Potgieter

Media Liaison