Innovative Staffing Solutions (ISS) has once again taken the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI) to court in yet another development that follows a series of legal disputes.
ISS is contesting the Main Collective Agreement (MCA) concerning Temporary Employment Services (TES), an issue that has been a source of contention for some time.
ISS’s repeated legal challenges to avoid compliance with the MCA, asserting that they are not a TES but an outsourcing company, have become a familiar pattern.
In their latest legal manoeuvre, ISS has filed an application with the High Court of South Africa, seeking a ruling to declare clause 66(4)(a) of the Main Collective Agreement unlawful, unenforceable, and unconstitutional.
This particular clause stipulates that no employer may engage the services of a temporary employment service unless that service is registered with the Council.
ISS, however, remains steadfast in their belief that the Council is overstepping its boundaries by attempting to encompass companies they categorize as non-labour brokers.
Arnoux Mare, CEO of ISS, expressed his concerns, stating, “This is very problematic, as these companies are not, in fact, labour brokers.”
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NBCRFLI National Secretary Musa Ndlovu countered by asserting, “ISS provides a substantial number of truck drivers to the road freight and logistics industry and is unequivocally a Labor Broker (TES).”
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He pointed out that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) confirmed this status in an arbitration award.
Ndlovu accuses ISS of using court challenges as a deliberate strategy to evade compliance.
“From as far back as 2018, ISS has relentlessly pursued various legal avenues, all to no avail, including court processes aimed at delaying compliance with court orders that compel them to register with the Council and adhere to the Main Collective Agreement,” asserted Ndlovu.
Mare, however, refutes these claims, saying, “A case such as this typically follows a lengthy and highly technical litigation process, which is not determined by ISS but is instead guided by standard legal procedures.”
He added, “Nevertheless, it is essential to note that we will exhaust every available option, and ISS remains committed to defending and ensuring fair treatment for companies facing similar allegations.”
Ndlovu concluded, “We firmly believe we have a strong case against ISS and have instructed our attorney to oppose this court application.”
When questioned about ISS’s willingness to comply if the court ruled against them, Mare could not provide a definitive answer.
As the legal battle continues, it remains to be seen how the court will interpret the Main Collective Agreement, and whether ISS’s claims will gain legal traction.