The Labour Relations Act sets out to democratize the workplace, advance economic development whilst affording social justice and peace to South African employees. The Act seeks to regulate the fundamental rights conferred by the Constitution and provide a framework within which employees and Trade Unions, employers and Employer Associations can collectively bargain to determine wages, terms and conditions of employment and formulate industrial policy. Guidelines are set down to promote orderly collective bargaining at Sectoral level, employees' decision in decision making in the workplace, and the effective resolution of labour disputes.

Employers own and operate restaurants, fast food, take-aways, canteens, catering companies and franchise outlets within the Republic of South Africa, Employers, who operate nationally, have to deal with two different Collective Agreements as well as the Sectoral Determination 14 for the Hospitality Sector, Employees are often transferred from one business to another which may mean that the transfer could result in different terms and conditions of employment. It is imperative that employment contracts be of uniform nature, for easy of operations.

Whilst the LRA addresses many long overdue issues and protects the rights of employees, Catra on behalf of it's members on the 28th September 2011, submitted an application to the Department of Labour, for the establishment of a Statutory Council, which has been gazetted on the 11th November 2011, Goverment Notice 786.

Objections were subsequently submitted to the Registrar of the Labour Relations, Mr Johan Crouse, by certain individual operating entities and business. A response by CATRA to the issues raised by way of objections was submitted to the Registrar of Labour Relations on 15th December 2011.

The application was sent to NEDLAC for demarcation and then to the Minister of Labour for determination by the Minister of Labour on the 25th October 2012, The Statutory Council for the Fast Food, Restaurant, Catering and Allied Trades has been registered from 14th December 2012, gazetted on 28th December 2012, Notice 1056.

Parties to the Council

CATRA employers association and South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU), and Hotel, Liquor, Catering, Commercial and Allied Workers Union (HOTELICCA), and Democratic Union of Security Workers (DUSWO), and Future of South African Workers Union (FOSAWU), and Hospitality, Industrial, Catering, Retails and Allied Workers Union (HICRAWU), and Federal Council of Retail and Allied Workers (FEDCRAW).

Power and Function of the Council
The Power and function of Council are;
1. To conclude collective agreements.
2. To enforce those collective agreements.
3. To prevent and resolve labour disputes.
4. To perform the dispute resolution functions.
5. To establish and administer a fund to be used for resolving disputes.
6. To promote and establish training and education schemes.
7. To establish and administer pension, provident, medical aid, unemployment and training schemes or funds or any similar schemes or funds for the benefit of one or more of the parties to the Bargaining Council or it's members.
8. To develop proposals for submission to Nedlac or any appropriate forum on policy and legislation that may affect the sector and area.
9. To determine by collective agreement the matters which may not be an issue in dispute for the purpose of a strike or lock-out at the work place.
10. To confer on workplace forums additional matters for consultation.

Objectives of the Council

The objectives ot the Council are to provide a framework within which employees and their Trade Unions, employers and Employer's Association can collectivelly bargain to determine wages, terms and conditions of employment to formulate industrial policy. To set down guidlines to promote orderly collective bargaining at sectoral level and the effective resolution of labour disputes.