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Three trade union demands you DON'T have to bow down to

by , 16 July 2013
Allowing a union into your workplace can have a major impact on your business and on the industrial relations in your workplace. Trade union officials have been specially trained to negotiate with you to make sure the union gets its way. This means they can even start making additional demands on you. But you don't have to give in. Here are three trade union demands you don't have to bow down to.

Many union officials are highly skilled and could, if you're inexperienced, win concessions on issues where the union does not have legal rights, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

Luckily, you can avoid this if you know where to draw the line. Here are three demands you CAN refuse to accept.

Trade unions will try to make these three demands – Don't give in to them

Demand #1: The right of the union to negotiate terms and conditions of employment on behalf of their members, such as wages, shorter working hours, longer leave and better workplace conditions

Demand #2: Closed shop arrangements where no job applicant can join your company without also joining the union.

Demand #3: Agency shop arrangements' where employees who don't belong to the union are forced to pay 'agency' fees to it, because they may gain benefits indirectly – due to negotiations successfully completed by the union premises

While it's not illegal for unions to make these additional demands, you're never required by law to give in to them. How you respond to union demands will be different in each case.

Should you decide to enter into a collective agreement with the union, just remember to ensure your business gains as much from it as possible.

After all, what employer would negotiate a business contract with a customer or supplier without looking to make capital out of the contract? This principle should apply equally to agreements with unions.

Knowing the three union demands you don't have to accept will help you deal with unions efficiently.

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