We have often reported on how legal cases are dragged out, especially once a dispute reaches the Labour Court (LC). It is not uncommon for an unfair dismissal to take four or five years to resolve.
"There are serious problems, especially at the LC," says Rudi Dicks, Cosatu's labour market coordinator at Nedlac. "There is a lack of resources at the LC. There is just one registrar at the LC who can certify awards. Often there are conflicting judgments coming out of the LC."
While the LRA sets strict time-frames which the CCMA has to abide by, there are no such limits on the LC. For example there is no time-frame laid down for the LC to decide a review. Often it can take up to a year to get a decision on a review.
Now Cosatu is taking up the issues at Nedlac. The table that follows spells out the problems and the recommendations that labour is making to resolve them.
Proposed solutions involve changing legislation or LC and/or CCMA rules. Other proposals will require additional funding to implement eg the proposal to institute an electronic recording system at the CCMA.
Labour proposals will try to stop experiences like Ntlele's
On April 24 2002 Pascalis Ntlele was fired. Just more than five years later the legal process ended with his reinstatement. During that time "there was no money coming in. My wife left me, I lost respect from my children."