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Major court victory for trade union

Publication: GroundUp
Author: Tania Broughton

Simunye Workers Forum is a genuine trade union, not "a vehicle for enriching individuals" says judge

  • The Johannesburg Labour Court has ruled that the Simunye Workers Forum can register as a trade union.
  • This overturns a decision by the Registrar of Trade Unions, who said the Forum did not meet the requirements of the Labour Relations Act.
  • Judge Andre van Niekerk said the labour market had changed since the Act was passed and new forms of worker organisations "will inevitably emerge".
  • The ruling means the forum can formally represent members in wage negotiations and disputes.

The Simunye Workers Forum (SWF) has won a major legal victory, with the Johannesburg Labour Court ruling that it can register as a union.

The SWF has about 6,600 members, mainly casual workers, and the ruling by Judge Andre Van Niekerk means it can now formally represent its members in disputes, in wage negotiations and in matters before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The forum went to court after the Registrar of Labour Relations refused to register it as a union.

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