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Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995)

Chapter IV : Strikes and Lock-outs

69. Picketing 16

 

 

(1) A registered trade union may authorise a picket by its members and supporters for the purposes of peacefully demonstrating—
(a) in support of any protected strike; or
(b) in opposition to any lock-out.

 

(2) Despite any law regulating the right of assembly, a picket authorised in terms of subsection (1), may be held —
(a) in any place to which the public has access but outside the premises of an employer; or
(b) with the permission of the employer, inside the employer's premises.

 

(3) The permission referred to in subsection (2)(b) may not be unreasonably withheld.

 

(4) If requested to do so by the registered trade union or the employer, the Commission must attempt to secure an agreement between the parties to the dispute on rules that should apply to any picket in relation to that strike or lock-out.

 

(5) If there is no agreement, the Commission must establish picketing rules, and in doing so must take account of—
(a) the particular circumstances of the workplace or other premises where it is intended that the right to picket is to be exercised; and
(b) any relevant code of good practice.

 

(6) The rules established by the Commission may provide for picketing by employees—
(a) in a place contemplated in section 69(2)(a) which is owned or controlled by a person other than the employer, if that person has had an opportunity to make representations to the Commission before the rules are established; or
(b) on their employer's premises if the Commission is satisfied that the employer's permission has been unreasonably withheld.

[Subsection (6) substituted by section 9(a) of Act No. 6 of 2014]

 

(7) The provisions of section 67, read with the changes required by the context, apply to the call for, organisation of, or participation in a picket that complies with the provisions of this section.

 

(8) Any party to a dispute about any of the following issues, including a person contemplated in subsection (6)(a), may refer the dispute in writing to the Commission—
(a) an allegation that the effective use of the right to picket is being undermined;
(b) an alleged material contravention of subsection (1) or (2);
(c) an alleged material breach of an agreement concluded in terms of subsection (4); or
(d) an alleged material breach of a rule established in terms of subsection (5).

[Subsection (8) substituted by section 9(b) of Act No. 6 of 2014]

 

(9) The party who refers the dispute to the Commission must satisfy it that a copy of the referral has been served on all the other parties to the dispute.

 

(10) The Commission must attempt to resolve the dispute through conciliation.

 

(11) If the dispute remains unresolved, any party to the dispute may refer it to the Labour Court for adjudication.

 

(12) If a party has referred a dispute in terms of subsection (8) or (11), the Labour Court may grant relief, including urgent interim relief, which is just and equitable in the circumstances and which may include—
(a) an order directing any party, including a person contemplated in subsection (6)(a), to comply with a picketing agreement or rule; or
(b) an order varying the terms of a picketing agreement or rule;

[Subsection 12 inserted by section 9(c) of Act No. 6 of 2014]

 

(13) The Labour Court may not grant an order in terms of subsection (12) unless—
(a) 48 hours’ notice of an application seeking relief referred to in subsection (12)(a) or (b) has been given to the respondent; or
(b) 72 hours’ notice of an application seeking relief referred to in subsection (12)(c) or (d) has been given to the respondent.

[Subsection 13 inserted by section 9(c) of Act No. 6 of 2014]

 

(14) The Labour Court may permit a shorter period of notice than required by subsection (13) if the—
(a) applicant has given written notice to the respondent of its intention to apply for the order;
(b) respondent has been given a reasonable opportunity to be heard before a decision concerning the application is taken; and
(c) applicant has shown good cause why a period shorter than that contemplated by subsection (13) should be permitted.

[Subsection 14 inserted by section 9(c) of Act No. 6 of 2014]

 

16 See flow diagram No. 7 in Schedule 4.