Ina Opperman
Business Journalist
2 minute read
2 Mar 2021
4:06 pm

Fedhasa 1, Department of Labour 0 in collective agreement fight

Ina Opperman

Court puts halt to bid to force non-member restaurants to pay Bargaining Council levies.

Photo: iStock

Fedhasa and the Restaurant Collective have been granted an urgent interdict to stop the extension of the Bargaining Council for Fast Food, Restaurant, Catering and Allied Trades’ recently gazetted collective agreement.

According to the extended agreement, all employers falling under the scope of the application of the Bargaining Council, which includes fast food outlets, restaurants and taverns, irrespective of the employer’s membership of the Bargaining Council, would have to comply with the agreement to pay compulsory Bargaining Council levies.

Only a few managerial districts in North West Province, Limpopo and Gauteng were excluded. The agreement also included various new conditions of employment.

The urgent interdict now prevents any Bargaining Council employee or representative from enforcing compliance with its agreement on establishments that are not members. Employers who are not members are also protected by this order pending the outcome of the review application.

ALSO READ: Hospitality sector heads to court over extension of Bargaining Council Collective Agreement

As the Bargaining Council cannot force non-members to comply, the Department of Employment and Labour will have to provide the representation information it used to bypass the required industry engagement phase.

Fedhasa’s legal team first contacted the Bargaining Council to establish whether it would consider not implementing the extension, but this was rejected. At the time, the Bargaining Council expressed its intention to oppose the application in court, but failed to lodge papers or appear in court.

“We are delighted with this outcome, which is a positive first step in the process to get this legislation set aside. It has been greatly encouraging to see all the major restaurant brands joining forces to fight this extension. If it was implemented in its current form, it could have a devastating impact on an already battered industry,” said Rosemary Anderson, national chairperson of Fedhasa.

Representation grossly overstated

Fedhasa believes the Bargaining Council’s claims of representation were grossly overstated and therefore the organisation wants to know how the extension to non-members was passed. The extension could have been passed by employer organisations and unions claiming to represent the majority of the industry countrywide, except where pre-existing Bargaining Councils operate.

“Based on our in-depth analysis of the numbers, we contend that the determination by the registrar of labour is fatally flawed and the decision of the minister should be reviewed and set aside,” Anderson said.

The Minister of Employment and Labour and the registrar of labour relations are opposing the review which will be heard in due course.

Restaurant Collective represents an alliance of hospitality stakeholders, including all the major brands and quick service restaurants in South Africa.

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