Organisational rights and the right to bargain
Johanette Rheeder

Employers and unions alike sometimes confuse the organisational rights granted by the Labour Relations Act based on the level of representation of the union and the right to bargain. The union may, wrongly, think it is entitled to bargain with the employer once it reached majority status. Certain rights are afforded to the sufficiently representative union and to the majority union. Section 11 to 16 of the LRA deals with the organisational rights afforded to unions. Section 12, 13 and 15 allow the sufficiently representative union to have access to the workplace, its subscription levies deducted and time off for its officials. Once majority status is achieved, the union becomes entitled to appoint union representatives and to access of information in terms of section 14 and 16.

The test of reasonableness for secondary strikes
Johanette Rheeder

Secondary strikes are used by employees of other employers to put pressure on the primary employer to accept the demand of the employees. However, its effect on the operations of the secondary employer cannot be denied. The question however is to what extend can it influence the primary strike?

Trade unions - How to deal with power play and position bargaining
Johanette Rheeder

Demands by unions, strikes and the most recent cases of looting and protest marches have been on the forefront of the news in the last few months, stunning some with surprise at the high wage demands and the seemingly unbridgeable gap between demand and offer. Many wonder why this is happening and whether there is a lack of common understanding and failed relationships between employers and employees in South Africa. To understand the power play and the process of position bargaining, one has to understand the purpose of a trade union. A trade union is in essence an association of employees with its principal purpose to regulate relations between the employer and the employees on matters of mutual interest. This includes collective-bargaining, dispute resolution, the representation in disputes and effectively working together in achieving labour peace in the workplace and increasing employee participation in workplace matters. (As is so eloquently put in the preamble of the Labour Relations Act).

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