Case Law On Interpretation Of Collective Agreements

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The great German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, who deals with the (non) possibility of our understanding of the “truth,” is quoted as saying: “All things are subject to the interpretation that prevails at a given moment, it is a function of power and not of truth.” The Labour Tribunal reaffirmed the principle that arbitrators, when interpreting collective agreements, must endeavour to implement the intent of the agreement and give the words used by the parties their common and popular meaning in the absence of ambiguity. Following numerous attempts at conciliation, the matter was referred to arbitration proceedings in which the Commissioner found that clause 4 (b) was not applicable on the basis of the text of the SAFA communication and the collective agreement. With respect to the interpretation of the recognition agreement, the Court held that the Commissioner`s interpretation on the merits, because it gave effect under the terms of the agreement, that is, its ordinary and popular meaning, without ambiguity. That is how the Commissioner was right to apply his opinion to the questions put to him. On July 20, 2012, SAFA issued a notice to all staff informing them of its intention to initiate a restructuring process in the workplace. As no savings contracts were entered into, the restructuring process was carried out within the meaning of the LRA`s s189. Valuable, up-to-date material and case summaries are available on our website. Each audio conference is accompanied by a PDF file with concise summaries of the cases discussed. The Union of Banking Insurance, Finance and Insurance Workers (BIFAWU) has applied for a review of an arbitration award following a dispute over the interpretation of a collective agreement between them and the South African Football Association (SAFA). Article 4 of the Recognition Agreement stipulates that the employer has agreed to consult the work forum in the event of a major change of employment within the meaning of Section 84 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

Conversely, Article 19 provides that the parties have agreed that a savings contract would come into effect in the event of a reduction and, in the absence of such an agreement, s189 applies to the LRA.

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