Employment

Extension of collective agreement to non-member employees and minority unions

Led by Partner and Practice Head, Aadil Patel, CDH's Employment team represented the country's national airline carrier, South African Airways (SAA) in a case that sought to interdict our client from carrying out a large scale retrenchment.

The point at issue was whether a collective agreement between SAA and the majority unions concluded in the context of a retrenchment could be extended to non-member employees and minority unions. The matter turned on whether such an extension was permissible and, if so, whether such extension was allowed in the particular case.

The Labour Court found in favour of SAA, dismissing the application and ruling that the extension of the collective agreement to non-member employees and minority unions was permissible. This case demonstrates that our team is frequently involved in precedent-setting cases. This matter was a first of its kind and provides greater clarity in South Africa's employment law.