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SACTWU vs Feltex

In the year 2000, SACTWU and Feltex concluded a collective agreement on wages and conditions of employment. The company then decided to outsource a large part of its labour to a labour broker. These ‘outsourced' workers were paid less than the rates prescribed in the wage agreement.

The union took up the matter and argued that all employees (including the ‘outsourced' labour) must be paid the same rates as set out in the collective agreement. We won the matter at arbitration at the CCMA in 2001. The company took the award on review to the Labour Court , but lost with costs. They then took the matter further, to the Labour Appeal Court but lost again. Not satisfied, the company took the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on the matter in late 2005. This Court also dismissed the matter with costs against the company.

The implication of the SACTWU vs Feltex case is vast: it provides important wage and other conditions of employment rights to workers employed under labour brokers.