As violent protests by workers surge and employers calculate the hefty cost of property damage, the labour court in Johannesburg has made an unprecedented ruling barring Dis-Chem workers from picketing and protesting. The court has ordered Dis-Chem employees affiliated to the National Union of Public Service & Allied Workers (Nupsaw) to stop wage demonstrations outside the retail pharmacy’s premises until February 27. The interim order comes just a few weeks after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed amendments to the Labour Relations Act, including provisions to mitigate prolonged and violent strikes. Nupsaw is affiliated to the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), which opposed the introduction of the new strike laws, describing them as an attack on workers’ right to strike. The labour court’s interim order will put a damper on the lawful strike by Dis-Chem workers that started on November 16 and was characterised by incidents of violence across the country. A video released online ...

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