William Saunderson-Meyer
3 minute read
21 Sep 2019
6:35 am

There are many holes in the secret ballot to strike plan

William Saunderson-Meyer

Some powerful players, including the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), are threatening a general strike against the new law.

Saftu members are seen during a protest against the national minimum wage in the Johannesburg CBD, 25 April 2018. Picture: Jacques Nelles

It’s a “Stalingrad tactic” and a “nightmare interference”. It’s “provocative” and “draconian”, and will be fiercely resisted. Yup, it’s the legal obligation on the unions to conduct a secret ballot before striking. This new requirement came into effect in January, but implementation was delayed to allow the registrar of trade unions to conduct information sessions. It is now being implemented. Last week, the registrar warned that unions’ registrations may be cancelled if they do not comply with immediate effect. On the face of it, not much reason for fuss and fury. The bedrock of participative democracy is the right to...