Part II PROTECTION OF RIGHTS OF WORKMEN AND EMPLOYERS AND THEIR TRADE UNIONS

Expression “trade union”

3. For the purposes of this Part, the expression “trade union” includes an association that has applied to be registered as a trade union.

Rights of workmen and employers

4. (1) No person shall interfere with, restrain or coerce a workman or an employer in the exercise of his rights to form and assist in the formation of and join a trade union and to participate in its lawful activities.

(2) No trade union of workmen and no trade union of employers shall interfere with each other in the establishment, functioning or administration of that trade union.

(3) No employer or trade union of employers and no person acting on behalf of such employer or such trade union shall support any trade union of workmen by financial or other means, with the object of placing it under the control or influence of such employer or such trade union of employers.

Prohibition on employers and their trade unions in respect of certain acts

5. (1) No employer or trade union of employers, and no person acting on behalf of an employer or such trade union shall—

(a) impose any condition in a contract of employment seeking to restrain the right of a person who is a party to the contract to join a trade union, or to continue his membership in a trade union;
(b) refuse to employ any person on the ground that he is or is not a member or an officer of a trade union;
(c) discriminate against any person in regard to employment, promotion, any condition of employment or working conditions on the ground that he is or is not a member or officer of a trade union;
(d) dismiss or threaten to dismiss a workman, injure or threaten to injure him in his employment or alter or threaten to alter his position to his prejudice by reason that the workman—

(i) is or proposes to become, or seeks to persuade any other person to become, a member or officer of a trade union; or
(ii) participates in the promotion, formation or activities of a trade union; or

(e) induce a person to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer any advantage on or by procuring or offering to procure any advantage for any person.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not be deemed to preclude an employer from—

(a) refusing to employ a person for proper cause, or not promoting a workman for proper cause, or suspending, transferring, laying-off or discharging a workman for proper cause;
(b) requiring at any time that a person who is or has been appointed or promoted to a managerial, an executive or a security position shall cease to be or not become a member or officer of a trade union catering for workmen other than those in a managerial, an executive or a security position; or
(c) requiring that any workman employed in confidential capacity in matters relating to staff relations shall cease to be or not become a member or officer of a trade union.

Leave on trade union business

6. A workman intending to carry out his duties or to exercise his rights as an officer of a trade union shall apply in writing to his employer for leave of absence stating the durations of and the purposes for which such leave is applied for and the employer shall grant the application for leave if the duration of the leave applied for is for a period that is no longer than what is reasonably required for the purposes stated in the application:

Provided that a workman shall not be entitled to leave with pay for the duration of his absence if the purposes for which he is absent from work are not to represent the members of his trade union in relation to industrial matters concerning his employer.

Prohibition on workmen and their trade unions in respect of certain acts

7. No workman or trade union of workmen and no person acting on behalf of such trade union shall—

(a) except with the consent of the employer, persuade at the employer’s place of business during working hours a workman of the employer to join or refrain from joining a trade union:

Provided that this paragraph shall not be deemed to apply to any act by a workman employed in the same undertaking where the act does not interfere with his normal duties;

(b) intimidate any person to become or refrain from becoming or to continue to be or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union; or
(c) induce any person to refrain from becoming or cease to be a member or officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer on any person or by procuring or offering to procure any advantage.

Reference of complaint to Industrial Court

8. (1) Any complaint of any contravention of section 4, 5, or 7 may be lodged in writing to the Director General setting out all the facts and circumstances constituting the complaint.

(1a) Where a complaint in subsection (1) relates to the dismissal of a workman, the provisions of section 20 shall apply to the exclusion of subsections 8(2) to (4).

(2) The Director General upon receiving any complaint under subsection (1) may take such steps or make such enquiries as he considers necessary or expedient to resolve the complaint; where the complaint is not resolved the Director General shall notify the Minister.

(2a) Upon receipt of a notification under subsection (2), the Minister may, if he thinks fit, refer the complaint to the Court for hearing.

(3) The Court shall thereupon conduct a hearing in accordance with this Act and may make such award as may be deemed necessary or appropriate.

(4) This section shall not apply in circumstances where there is a contravention of section 59 and proceedings have been commenced before a court in respect of an offence under subsection 59(1); where, while proceedings are pending under this section, proceedings arising out of the same circumstances are commenced before a court in respect of an offence under subsection 59(1), the proceedings under this section shall not be proceeded with further.

Employer may provide information on collective bargaining and trade dispute to his workmen

8a. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing an employer from conveying to his workmen, in such manner as he may deem appropriate, any information on any matter pertaining to any collective bargaining or trade dispute involving such workmen and the trade union acting for them.