The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union, a non-racial organisation of progressive civil servants in the Safety and Security cluster, welcomes the decision handed down by the Labour Court on Wednesday 26 November 2014 on the vexed issue of Affirmative Action and, in particular, the Labour Court’s re-enforcement of the collective bargaining regime in labour relations in the case of Solidarity v SAPS and 4 Others.
Solidarity demanded to be consulted by the SAPS before employment equity plans are prepared and implemented, even though it is not a representative trade union and has only 2 400 members out of a workforce of more than 210 422. The collective bargaining agreement sets the threshold for representativeness at 30 000 members.
POPCRU welcomes also the Labour Court’s finding that Solidarity brought this application with no other purpose but to score cheap political points. The final paragraph of the Labour Court’s judgment is worth citing in full: “It is my view that this application was ill considered and was clearly launched with the intention to cause irritation to the respondents. The attack on both SAPU and POPCRU in Solidarity’s pleadings to the effect that neither of these two unions have taken the interests of the so-called ‘minority groups’ into account for the purposes of consultations over the matters under consideration was unwarranted and a cheap attempt at scoring points. The allegation by Solidarity to the effect that SAPU had no regard to or had failed to comply with its own Constitution in relation to its vision and mission is unsubstantiated and a lame attempt at political point scoring in the turf wars between the two unions. In the end, this application was an abuse of the Court’s process for the purposes of scoring cheap political points. The Court’s integrity should be protected at all costs, and it should sanction such conduct with an appropriate cost order”.
POPCRU urges Solidarity to respect the Labour Court’s judgment and stop using the Courts to wage a political onslaught against established constitutional measures.
Issued by POPCRU on 28/11/2014
Theto Mahlakoana (Ms)