Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Union representation percentage

  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scottburgh
    Posts
    136
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 41 Times in 28 Posts

    Union representation percentage

    Can anyone help me.I have been given notice that my employees will be joining a Union.What is the representation percentage that is needed for them to have control?

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by roryf View Post
    What is the representation percentage that is needed for them to have control?
    Depends what you mean by "control" exactly.

    If they represent the majority of employees, any collective agreement between employer and employee representative party (trade union) would become binding on the non-unionised employees too.
    (per S 23 of the LRA)

    If this is all new to you, you probably want to read Part III (Collective bargaining) A & B of the LRA quite carefully (S 11 to S 26).

    Also make sure you're reading the latest copy - acts.co.za is quite a useful resource for this.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. Thanks given for this post:

    roryf (14-Feb-14)

  4. #3
    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durban
    Posts
    1,328
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 561 Times in 410 Posts
    Blog Entries
    7
    Certain rights, or obligations upon employer, only exist on majority, that is 50% plus 1
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

  5. Thanks given for this post:

    roryf (14-Feb-14)

  6. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scottburgh
    Posts
    136
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 41 Times in 28 Posts
    Thanks for the answers.The union stuff is pretty new to me.I have my first meeting with the Union guy and my lawyer next week Thursday.I always thought that it was 50% plus one but there was a comment in the 'proposed' recognition agreement about 30% plus 1.

    I will let my lawyer sort it out next week.

  7. #5
    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durban
    Posts
    1,328
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 561 Times in 410 Posts
    Blog Entries
    7
    The 30% is a guideline, it's called sufficient representation.

    The sufficient gives the right to meetings, you have to deduct fees etc.
    Majority allows for shop stewards, and such forth.
    Check sections 11 through to 23 of LRA.
    Ordinarily the union will ask for a recognition agreement, often setting a threshold, which allows the union to essential lying shut out all other unions.

    The question worth asking is what has caused the employees to approach a union, given that it seems they have worked for you for some time without. A sudden change often indicates a change in workplace circumstances, possibly a manager being unfair, although at times it stems from an increase in discipline after a relaxed regime.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

  8. #6
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Posts
    2,671
    Thanks
    88
    Thanked 544 Times in 460 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    There is also a route the unions take, if a company reaches a certain threshold of employee numbers, they solicit the employees to join the union. They want nothing else, but to get the union fees, and promise employees the world. On many occasions employees find themselves in a worse situation before the unions approached, as it force the employer to become more stern with employees with infractions, as this is a requirement to keep your HR in order, especially with being late, insubordination, production quality and output and many other areas where employees are lax and management allow this.

    Unions also inform their members that they can not help employees if they are procedure incorrect in their actions.

    Personally I think unions are a curse, and never had any good results when they get involved in your labour force.
    If I can but give one piece of advice, which I learn't the hard way.
    Always keep your cool in meetings with the union, they will intimidate you so that you lose your temper and make mistakes.
    Always schedule meetings with the unions after work hours, because you are to busy running the company during the day, and because it is late, meetings are over very quickly, as they want to go home.
    If at all possible, only have one director/partner at the meeting, as this allows you to defer an immediate decision by allowing you the excuse that you have to confer with your other partners/directors, and take 2 weeks to come back with a decision. In fact it would be better to get an HR person to represent you in theses meetings, which then procrastinates the decision/result.
    Never allow the union representative quote you an act bla bla bla, my excuse was that I am not a lawyer, and therefor do not know the law, and he must show you the clause that he is referring to in the LRA. They play on your ignorance and push through their agenda when they do this.
    If they elect a shop steward and he is required to sit in the meetings, make sure that it is made aware that the shop steward will not get paid for the time in the meeting, as this is not company business.
    If the union wishes to hold a meeting with employees, ensure that you inform them to do it on their own time, like tee time or lunch time or after hours, or else they will have regular long meetings at your expense in wages and lost production.
    Not sure how you feel about this one, make them feel uncomfortable at the meeting, turn the aircon off, do not offer refreshments either, it shortens the waffling and meeting time.
    If you do not have one, get yourself a labour lawyer to handle all the nonsense that is going to develop once they have entrenched themselves in your workforce.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  9. Thanks given for this post:

    IanF (14-Feb-14)

  10. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scottburgh
    Posts
    136
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 41 Times in 28 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by sterne.law@gmail.com View Post

    The question worth asking is what has caused the employees to approach a union, given that it seems they have worked for you for some time without. A sudden change often indicates a change in workplace circumstances, possibly a manager being unfair, although at times it stems from an increase in discipline after a relaxed regime.
    Your question is valid.We have to do a Social Compliance Audit for one of our customers every 1-2 years.One of the findings was that we did not have a Freedom of Association policy in place.We do however have an informal staff committee but that was not good enough as it has not been formalised. I held a staff meeting informing them of their right to join a Union,Bargaining council or formalise the workers committee as per the new Freedom of Association policy. Some of the newer staff have stirred up the staff and obviously now want to join the union.All my older staff have told me that they are not joining.

    I sat with the stirrers and asked them why they were wanting to join the union and they said that their issues were not getting through to management.I then asked what the issues were and they had no response.I am still puzzled as to why they want to join because we treat our guys really well.

    I guess I will wait and see what happens in the coming weeks.Maybe some of the nice perks might get taken away and I will not be as relaxed with staff anymore.Time will tell and I won't decide till I have had my first meeting with the Union.

    Thanks for all the advise.

Similar Threads

  1. Set service charge fee as percentage of sale
    By nkris in forum Accounting Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Dec-13, 12:20 PM
  2. legal representation
    By Leigh in forum General Chat Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Apr-12, 12:59 PM
  3. [Question] Ownership percentage with foreign partner
    By qophelo in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Feb-11, 04:41 PM
  4. What percentage of your income do you earn from the internet?
    By kernel32 in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 28-Jul-08, 10:59 AM
  5. Small business has to get real representation to the table.
    By Dave A in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Feb-07, 01:03 PM

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •