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Gautrain employees say management is interfering with their union rights! Make sure you don't do the same

by , 06 August 2014
A strike is looming in the railway sector.

According to IOL, Gautrain drivers and conductors are ready to embark on a strike because of what they claim are 'unfair working conditions'.

One of the things workers are complaining about is the fact that management is interfering with their union rights.

They say a human resources executive has allegedly campaigning for employees to resign from their union (South African Railways and Harbours Workers Union), promising an 8% increase in return to prevent staff from going on strike.

To avoid being accused of interfering with your unionised employees, make sure you understand what your employee's rights are.


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Your employees' right to unionise gives them immense power to get what they want

It's true.

If your employees belong to a union, they can:
 

  • Use the union's officials and lawyers to take you to the CCMA, at the mere cost of the monthly trade union membership fee;
  • Use shop stewards and union officials to enter into collective bargaining to pressurise you to meet their demands; and
  • Go on strike or threaten to do so.

 

The law ties your hands when it comes to unions – you can't interfere with their rights


As an employer, you aren't allowed to interfere with the rights of employees who are unionised in any way. The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says you can't:

#1: Harass employees because they've made wage increase demands or have been elected to negotiate with you.

#2: Victimise any employees who want to join a trade union or already belong to one.

#3: Discriminate against or threaten employees or job applicants who want to form a trade union or belong to one (Section 5 of the Labour Relations Act).

If the allegations by Gautrain employees are true: Their employer may be on the wrong side of the Labour Relations Act. Don't make the same mistake in your workplace. Never interfere with the rights of unionised employees.

 



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