In the Joint Labour statement issued on 24 April 2018 regarding the public service wage negotiations, mention was made of picketing to commence on 3 May 2018 as a precursor to possible industrial action.
It must be clarified that the negotiations have not reached the point where unions will be embarking on strike action. Apart from one union who declared a dispute, and which dispute will now enter a 30 day conciliation period, the other unions, including NAPTOSA, are awaiting a revised wage offer from the employer which is expected on 3 May 2018. This will guide unions whether or not to join the dispute.
Picketing is one of the tools in the armour of trade unions in a wage negotiation process. In terms of the Labour Relations Act a picket may, however, only be held in support of a protected strike which we currently don’t have. Whilst NAPTOSA fully supports the utilisation of the picketing mechanism, we believe it should be exercised in accordance with the law.
We do not wish to involve members in unlawful actions and will therefore only call on members to participate in picketing when it is legally sound. In the meantime, in solidarity with other unions who will be embarking on the picketing action as announced, members of staff will be utilised to represent NAPTOSA.