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Road Freight Industry

Road Freight Industry

The National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry NBCRFLI

The Labour Relations Act Provides for the self-regulation of Industries through the medium of Bargaining Councils. The NBCRFLI is a Bargaining Council as envisaged in the Act whose mission is to create and maintain industrial peace and stability in the Road Freight and Logistics Industries.

The NBCRFLI is regulated through its Main Collective Agreement as well as various other administrative agreements, codes, policies and its constitution. Though HR Focus will make most of the pertinent documentation available, you can visit http://www.nbcrfli.org.za/ to understand the Bargaining Council and its function in detail.

One of the core functions of the NBCRFLI, in terms of the Labour Relations Act, is therefore to manage the dispute resolution process within the Road Freight and Logistics Industry, as per its mandate to manage and enforce the conditions of employment between industry employers and employees.

In order to resolve unfair dismissal and disputes of a similar nature, the NBCRFLI is accredited by the CCMA to perform dispute resolution by using CCMA accredited commissioners. These commissioners are also used to arbitrate enforcement disputes within dispute resolution rules.

As a member of the road freight and logistics industry, members have the right to make sure that their section 51 (Labour Relations Act of 1995) dispute, for example, unfair labour practice or unfair dismissal dispute is heard and resolved.

It is important to note that there are no additional costs to be paid for employees or employers who are members of the NBCRFLI and they can decide to use the Council’s dispute resolution services. The costs are covered by monthly the Council levy deducted by your employer and equally paid together with your employer’s portion directly to the NBCRFLI.

A dispute, under section 51 of the Labour Relations Act of 1995, is any matter over which employer and employee NBCRFLI members legally challenge each other, such as unfair dismissals or unfair labour practices or a dispute about the application of the provisions of Council’s Collective Agreements.

It is important to note that the NBCRFLI checks the following things before an unfair dismissal or unfair labour practice dispute is set down:

  • Is the correct citation of the party (legal name of the company, legal names of individuals) provided?
  • Are the terms of reference correctly cited?
  • Did the applicant sign the form?
  • Have the correct timeframes been adhered to?

If not, condonation applies. (If the applicant failed to comply with the timeframes provided for in the Act, he/she may apply for condonation for the late referral)

To lodge a dispute with the NBCRFLI an applicant must:

  1. Complete the referral form (7.11). The form is available from any NBCRFLI office and on the NBCRFLI website.
  2. Send a copy of the referral form to your employer by registered mail, serve the form in person by handing a copy to the employer or fax it to the correct fax number of your employer or emailing it to the correct email address of your employer.
  3. Send the original form to the relevant NBCRFLI office with proof that the form was sent or given to your employer. The form can be emailed, faxed, posted or hand delivered to the NBCRFLI. Acceptable proof that your employer received a copy of the referral form includes:
    1. a signature of receipt
    2. a fax receipt slip
    3. an email receipt slip
    4. a registered letter slip
  4. At the NBCRFLI offices, the case management officer will give the member a case number and inform you in due course of the date and time of the hearing.
  5. The member will also receive an SMS two days before the date of the hearing as a reminder.

An employee may appear in person at any proceedings before the Council or be represented by a member; official or office bearer of a registered trade union that the employee was a member of at the time the dispute arose.

An employer may be represented by a director, trustee or partner in a partnership of that employer. Legal representation is not automatically allowed and may be subject to the commissioner’s discretion.

  • Unfair dismissal dispute: Must be referred within 30 days of the date of dismissal. (If an employee applied for an appeal, the date of dismissal is the day the employee was notified of the outcome of the appeal hearing.)
  • Unfair labour practice dispute: Must be referred within 90 days of the date of the act or omission, which resulted in the unfair labour practice or, if it is a later date, within 90 days of the date on which the employee became aware of the act or occurrence.

If more than 30 days have passed since the dismissal took place without referring the matter for conciliation, you will have to apply for condonation, which is like an extension of the deadline. Condonation forms are also obtainable at NBCRFLI offices.

An application for arbitration must be submitted within 90 days after the conciliation certificate had been issued.

Types of disputes that can refer to the NBCRFLI includes:

  • Disputes about the interpretation or application of the provisions of Chapter II (Section 9)
  • Disputes regarding a proposed strike or lock out (LRA Section 64(1))
  • Disputes in essential services (LRA Section 74)
  • Disputes about unfair dismissals (LRA Section 191)
  • Disputes about severance pay (LRA Section 196)
  • Disputes about unfair labour practices (LRA Item 2 in Schedule 7)

The Labour Relations Act Provides for the self-regulation of Industries through the medium of Bargaining Councils. The NBCRFLI is a Bargaining Council as envisaged in the Act whose mission is to create and maintain industrial peace and stability in the Road Freight and Logistics Industries.

The NBCRFLI is regulated through its Main Collective Agreement as well as various other administrative agreements, codes, policies and its constitution. Though HR Focus will make most of the pertinent documentation available, you can visit http://www.nbcrfli.org.za/ to understand the Bargaining Council and its function in detail.

The NBCRFLI has also been accredited by the CCMA to resolve most types of labour disputes which occur in our industry and its dispute resolution procedures closely mirror those of the CCMA.

To this end The NBCRFLI has created an internal Center for Dispute Resolution (CDR), recognised by the CCMA and managed by qualified accredited full time Commissioners, with offices throughout South Africa; we attach required forms for ease of reference, but for further particulars, visit http://www.nbcrfli.org.za/Pages/Disputes-Resolution/Disputes-Resolution.aspx

The procedure for the resolution of most labour disputes through the CDR (Center for Dispute Resolution NBCRFLI) can, similarly as with the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration)  be summarised as follows:

  • A copy of the Referral Form must be served on the other party and the NBCRFLI within 30 days of a dismissal (or 90 days of an unfair labour practice). Service may be effected by registered mail, fax , email or by hand.   Proof of service, such as a fax or Post Office slip, must be provided to the NBCRFLI.
  • Should the dispute be referred outside the 30 or 90-day period, condonation for the late referral needs to be sought. The NBCRFLI Case Management staff will gladly assist with the necessary forms.
  • The NBCRFLI will enroll the dispute for Conciliation or Con/Arb proceedings at a venue closest to the parties within 30 days of receipt of the referral.
  • Conciliation is an informal meeting aimed solely at arriving at an amicable resolution of the dispute.
  • Con/Arb incorporates a second process, Arbitration, at which the presiding Commissioner will listen to evidence from both parties and issue a final and binding award.
  • If the dispute was enrolled for Conciliation only and remains unresolved, the Applicant must formally request the NBCRFLI to arbitrate. This can be done by serving a copy of the Request for Arbitration Form on the other party and the NBCRFLI.
  • The NBCRFLI will enroll the dispute for Arbitration at a venue closest to the parties.
  • A NBCRFLI arbitration award is final and binding and, when certified by the NBCRFLI, can be enforced as if it were an order of the Labour Court. Contact the NBCRFLI on how to apply for CCMA certification of the award.

Note that disputes relating to Main Collective Agreement infringements, such as underpayments, must be lodged directly with NBCRFLI.