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Dealing with Trade Unions in the Workplace

Dealing with Trade Unions in the Workplace


1. Dealing with Trade Unions in the Workplace

A. Introduction

B. Objectives of Course

C. Specific issues I would like to be addressed

2. Distinction between Collective Employment Law and Individual Employment Law

3. Regulatory Framework for Collective Employment Law

4. International Labour Organisation (ILO)

5. Constitutional Rights (Bill of Rights)

A. s9. Equality

B. S22– Freedom of trade, occupation and profession

C. S23 – Labour Relations

D. S5 Protection of employees and persons seeking employment (Labour Relations Act)

E. S 187 Automatically unfair dismissals

6. Union Federations

7. Requirements for registered Trade Unions

8. The status of a trade union

9. The relevance of the scope of the Union’s constitution

10. The distinction between representative and sufficiently representative trade unions

11. Requests for organisational rights

A. Statutory entitlements

B. Full-time Shop Stewards

C. Roles and Responsibilities of shop stewards

D. Duties of a shop steward

E. Rights and Duties of Shop Stewards

F. The Supervisor (Foreman) / Shop Steward Relationship

G. Case studies - Demands for removing a supervisor / foreman

H. The difference between a work practice and a term and condition of employment

I. Management - Shop Steward Meetings

J. Regulating management – shop steward meetings in the Recognition Agreement

K. Leave for trade union activities

12. Disclosure of information

13. Collective Agreements (often called Wage Agreements)

A. s23. Legal effect of collective agreement

B. s24. Disputes about collective agreements

14. The initial request from a trade union for organisational rights

15. Disputes concerning failure to extend organisational rights

A. Exercise of organisational rights (Section 21)

B. s22. Disputes about organisational rights

16. Minority trade unions

17. Verification Exercises

18. Establishing the framework of the relationship

19. Some fundamental rules of engagement

20. Strategies and stratagems by Management which prove unhelpful or ineffective and ultimately harmful

21. Strategies and stratagems by Management which prove helpful or effective and ultimately beneficial

22. The first meeting

23. Closed Shop, Agency Shop or none?

A. Agency Shop

B. Closed Shop

C. Union Hiring Hall (USA / Canada, some EU countries)

24. Collective bargaining

25. Representation of trade unions / shop stewards in various forums

26. Representation in Disciplinary Enquiries

27. Union members / shop stewards promoted to management positions

28. Strikes and lockouts

A. Legitimate strike action – Regulated by s64ff of the Act

B. Employment of replacement labour

C. Wildcat strikes, work stoppages, go slows etc

D. Unprocedural strikes

29. Liability of trade union towards its members

30. Requirements for fair ultimatums

31. Response to a request for organisational rights

32. Follow up letter to a request for organisational rights

33. Pro forma recognition and procedural agreement

34. Pro forma industrial relations policy

35. Picketing Rules

36. Pro Forma Ultimatums

Lodgement of a grievance

37. Issue letters of suspension and notice to attend collective disciplinary hearing

38. Attendance Registers and Agenda

39. Extract from Labour Relations Act

40. Regulations regarding registration of trade unions



  • The workshop has extensive case law which will furnish delegates with the most recent interpretations of the various employment law statutes.


  • Two days

Who should attend?

  • Supervisors, Line Managers
  • Human Resource professionals
  • Industrial Relations and Employee Relations Professionals
  • Shop Stewards
Gary Watkins

Gary Watkins

Managing Director


C: +27 82 416 7712

T: +27 11 462 0982

F: +27 86 689 7862

Website: www.workinfo.com
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