- If employees are planning to strike in solidarity with other employees in another company who are legally striking (a secondary strike), the employees must give their employer 7 days’ notice in writing.
- If the employees are not part of a collective agreement with an alternate dispute resolution procedure, the dispute must be referred to the CCMA or the relevant Bargaining Council after the opposing party has received a copy of the Referral of Dispute Form (LRA 7.11).
In order for other strikes or lock-outs about disputes to be protected, employees or the employer must follow these steps:
- If the employees are part of a collective agreement which has a dispute resolution procedure, then that procedure must be followed.
- Otherwise the dispute must be referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) or the relevant Bargaining Council. The CCMA or Bargaining Council must try to settle the dispute within 30 days of receiving the dispute. If conciliation is successful, it means both parties are satisfied and no industrial action will be taken.
- If conciliation within 30 days is unsuccessful, the parties must wait until the CCMA or Bargaining Council sends or provides them a certificate which states that the dispute has not been resolved. Only then can either party take further steps towards industrial action.
- In the case of a proposed strike, the employees must give the employer at least 48 hours’ written notice that they intend to take industrial action. If the employer is the state, the employees must give at least 7 days’ notice. This notice must be specific about the time of the strike and what form the strike will take.
- In the case of a proposed lock-out, the employer must give the employees at least 48 hours written notice that it intends to lock the employees out.
If the employer locks employees out without following the procedures, the employees can immediately go on strike without following the procedures. If employees go on strike without following the procedures, the employer does not have to follow procedures to lock them out.
Where the employer illegally locks out the employees, a claim must be made against the employer because of this illegal lockout.