Exemption will stop strike
MY SUSPICIOUS mind is working overtime about the exemption application by the two largest bus companies.
Both were at the forefront of the wage negotiations with the transport unions while the unions were on strike.
The strike was crippling the industry and was incredibly negative.
The companies were placed in a position where it appeared they had to agree to the unsustainable increase in order to put an end to the strike.
As an aside, when the Labour Relations Act is changed next year it will enable the minister to intervene in unsustainable strikes.
The two largest bus companies have applied to be exempted from the increases. The companies are in the process of outlining why they can’t afford the increase and how it’s unsustainable in their respective cases. Herein lies the rub!
The unions are now faced with the situation where they will obviously oppose the exemption and might even take the issue to the Labour Court. However, they cannot go on a strike in the face of a possible exemption application being successful.
Unions can only strike in certain circumstances but cannot strike in favour of a right that they have.
It takes a suspicious mind to conjure up a scenario where the bus companies might have had this idea at the commencement of the strike.
They could easily break the strike by agreeing to the increase and forcing the unions to go back to work. The companies would know full well that the unions cannot strike again if an exemption is granted.
Michael Bagraim Labour Spokesperson
Golden Arrow Bus Services has angered unions by applying for an exemption from the wage deal at the bargaining council.