This study explores the relevance of the Bargaining Council for the Food, Retail, Restaurant, Catering and Allied Trades (BCFRRCAT) on a group of small restaurant enterprises in Pretoria. An investigation into the functioning of the BCFRRCAT in Pretoria was done with special reference to their accommodation of small restaurant enterprises in the Bargaining Council (BC). The aim of the study was to determine if the BCFRRCAT understands the needs and problems of small restaurant enterprises in the industry and whether small restaurant enterprises adhere to the provisions of the main collective agreement of the BC. The approach of the study was based on the fact that, in order to understand how the BC could be impacting on small restaurant enterprises, one needs to start by examining: <ul> <li>the representativity position and coverage of the Council to put into perspective the number of employers and employees covered by the Council;</li> <li> Examine the actual process of extended BC agreement that is extended to non-parties by the Council; </li> <li>the enforcement capacity of the Council’s inspectorates over collective agreements, and</li> <li> the nature of exemption system at the BC, reviewing the number of exemption applications received, the number of exemptions granted and the number of exemptions refused.</li> </ul> Against this background, the literature on BCs pointed out that the applicability of the BC system to small enterprises has come under considerable scrutiny since the 1980s. The trend has always been that the development of the BC system has made it much more convenient for large employers to negotiate their interest at the Council level than for the small enterprises. Small enterprises tend to oppose BC activities and some of the issues that have been raised include the extent to which Councils are representative of small enterprises and accommodate their needs at the Council. To address the main research objectives, semi-structured interviews were adopted as a specific type of qualitative research method. The mode of understanding qualitative research as an adopted research design has been analyzed on the basis of a practically orientated description around the research problem of the study. The motivation to carry out this study qualitatively was founded on the following characteristics: <ul> <li>its ability to understand the phenomena from the perspective of the people being studied;</li> <li>its ability to provide detailed descriptions of specific settings under investigation, and</li> <li>its ability to allow the application and testing of concepts that produced a wealth of detailed data about a small number of people.</li> </ul> The immediate conclusion that emerged from the study was established through the examination of three measures of representativity (i.e., the number of covered employees at party employers as a proportion of all covered employees, the members of party trade union as a proportion of all covered employees and the party employers as a proportion of all registered employers). Hence, the Council was found to be less representative on the third measure (i.e., party employers as a proportion of all registered employers). This appeared to be for the reason that the extension of collective agreement covers only a very small proportion of small restaurant enterprises. Copyright
Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2010.