Organisational Rights

All about Organisational Rights, Organisational Rights in the Workplace, Employers and Organisational Rights, Organisational Rights and the CMA and more on AfricaPay Tanzania.

What are Organisational Rights?

Organisational rights refers to the rights of a registered trade union to:

  • Recruit members.
  • To communicate with members.
  • Meet members in dealing with the employer.
  • Hold meetings of employees on the premises.
  • Vote in any ballot under the union constitution. 

These rights are provided for under section 60 of the Employment and Labour Relations Act, 2004. It also refers to the rights of a trade union to establish a field branch in a workplace containing ten or more members, and rights to get leave for trade union activities

Are these rights automatically granted to members of a trade union?

These rights are subject to any reasonable conditions to ensure the orderly exercise of the rights and that work is not unduly interrupted. Section 64 of The Employment and Labour Relations Act requires a trade union intending to exercise any of the organisational rights to notify an employer in the prescribed form that it seeks to exercise such right. Failure to do so may entitle the employer to refuse to such a request

What happens if a trade union breaches the material conditions for the exercise of organisational rights?

Where there is a breach of the terms and conditions for the exercise of organisational rights, the matter may be referred to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA). If the CMA fails to resolve the dispute an employer may apply to the Labour Court which may terminate any of the organisational rights granted to the trade union

What happens if I, as an employer, refuse to meet with the unions or grant their organisational rights?

As provided above, if the trade union meets the statutory qualification to deserve such rights then you have no right to unreasonably refuse to grant it, but the same may be granted subject to some conditions. In event you fail to meet with the union within 30 days from the time you received the notification or unreasonably refuse to grant such rights, the union may refer the dispute to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA).

Will I be against the law if I, as an employer, refuse a trade union representative time off to travel for performance of some union functions?

Trade union representatives under the law are entitled to a reasonable paid time off to perform the following statutory functions:

  • To represent members in grievance and disciplinary hearings.
  • To make representations on behalf of members in respect of rules; and health and safety welfare.
  • To consult on productivity in the workplace.
  • To represent the trade union in inquiries and investigations conducted by inspectors in terms of any labour laws.
  • To monitor employer compliance with labour laws.
  • To perform trade union functions under the union’s constitution.
  • To further good relations.
  • To perform any functions or roles agreed by the employer.

In event any of the mentioned rights have been unreasonably refused by the employer then the trade union representative may refer the matter to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA).

How many representatives is a registered trade union required to have at a work place?

A registered trade union shall be entitled to:

  • One trade union representative for one to nine members.
  • Three representatives for ten to twenty members. 
  • Ten representatives for twenty one to one hundred members.
  • Fifteen representatives in workplaces with more than one hundred members.

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Find out about Minimum Wages in Tanzania.

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