METAL INDUSTRY ALERT
Dear NEASA member
The parties to the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council yesterday received a ruling from the CCMA dealing with picketing rules pertaining to the current strike action in the Industry.
The agreement will be applicable nationally on all employers and unions from 16 July 2014 and will govern the conduct of employees participating in pickets.
Even though these are national collective picketing rules provision has been made for employers to enter into site specific agreements where it is required.
The most important aspect contained in the rules are as follows:
Unions will appoint conveners who’s contact details must be provided to the employer;
One convener will be allowed to hand out pamphlets to members of the public or non-striking employees;
Picketers may not, where circumstances permit, come closer than 8 meters from the employers entrance or exit gate;
Where possible, access will be granted to the employees of the specific employer to water and toilet facilities, the employer may control the number of employees who enters the premises;
Picketers may not prevent members of the public or other employees from entering or exiting the premises of the employer;
Picketers may not carry weapons, including traditional weapons;
Picketers may not cause damage to property;
Picketers may not intimidate, threaten or assault any person;
Any existing plant level agreements will not be replaced or superseded by these rules.
Even though these rules impose certain obligations on employers, especially in respect of water and toilet facilities, it cannot be expected of employers to provide these facilities where it is not practically possible or where there is any form of violence or intimidation present. Employers are advised to use their sound judgement to decide if and when their employees will be allowed on the premises to make use of the facilities or whether alternative arrangements can be made to provide facilities outside of the premises.
Employers are entitled to control the number of picketers who may access the premises at any given time but if there is any possibility of picketers overrunning the premises access should not be allowed.
Any contravention of these rules by picketers in respect of any provision thereof constitutes a breach of contract and will automatically release employers from any obligations they have under the rules.
The full document can be viewed under the strike section on the NEASA website or by clicking here.
Should members have any queries regarding this issue kindly contact the NEASA hotline on 0860 163 272.
National Collective Bargaining co-ordinator