What are Trade Unions?

2245 WordsJun 23, 20189 Pages
“Trade Unions are not merely economic actors: they are necessarily protagonists in the political arena. Regulating the labour market is a question of power resources. Yet if Unions are inescapably both economic and political actors, the relationship between the two is complex…” A trade Union as defined by the Trade Union and Employers Organisation Act as an organisation the principle object of which includes the regulation of relations between employees and employers or employers organisations. Thus, its objective would necessarily be that of collective bargaining. Collective bargaining deals with the balancing of divergent interests, these being those of the employer to maximise profits and those of the employee of adequate…show more content…
I am of the opinion that political affiliation of Trade Unions diminishes the prospects of negotiating in good faith where one party is in better footing than the other. Such good faith can be further diluted by political ambitions to the detriment of workers. A classic example of this is the 2011 Public Service strike where the employer (government), instead of addressing the problems of the day, abused their executive and legislative powers by mandating that some professions that were involved in the strike be included as essential services. This can be interpreted as an order to prevent the said employees from going on an otherwise lawful strike in the event of a deadlock. It is submitted that the actions of the employer were more motivated by its objective to preserve its political existence than by the endeavour to uphold workers’ rights. So while section 48 of the TUEOA provides that there is a duty to bargain in good faith , an employer whose opponent is politically laced has no duty to yield to the demands of Trade Unions because of possible the political animosity which is bound to be injurious to the labour force. Article 8 (1) (a) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides that state parties to the covenant undertake to ensure that trade unions function freely subject to no limitations other than those prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests on national
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