Collective bargaining and the LRA
The article addresses three key issues relating to collective bargaining under the LRA: the meaning of the right to bargain collectively, the constitutional attack on the extension of collective agreements and the current state of sector-level bargaining. The author points out that we can distinguish a range of rights and obligations in the right to bargain collectively, all of which are given effect by the LRA, and endorses the finding that there is no general constitutional duty to bargain.
Addressing the constitutionality of the LRA's provision for the extension of bargaining council agreements to cover non-parties, the author concludes that this is a justifiable limitation of the right to engage in collective bargaining. The last part of (he article reveals that bargaining councils are in decline and endangered by government's intention to exempt smaller enterprises from centralised bargaining. [n the author's view this is unnecessary, given that there is already provision for exemptions from bargaining council agreements.