In a groundbreaking ruling that will change how trade unions embark on a strike, the labour appeal court has found that unions don’t need to hold a secret ballot before downing tools until the labour registrar first complies with relevant legislation.

The judgment, delivered earlier in June, effectively gives power back to union leaders to unilaterally decide on behalf of their members if and when they should down tools. On the other hand, employers will have to tread carefully on how they handle worker demands in the future, as the ruling removes the legislative protection they have enjoyed since 2019...

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