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Industrial Relations Act 1967 (2010 revision), Page 4

Part IV - COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS

Collective bargaining

13. (1) Where a trade union of workmen has been accorded recognition by an employer or a trade union of employers—

(a) the trade union of workmen may invite the employer or trade union of employers to commence collective bargaining; or

(b) the employer or the trade union of employers may invite the trade union of workmen to commence collective bargaining.

(2) The invitation under subsection (1) shall be in writing and shall set out the proposals for a collective agreement.

(2a) A proposal for a collective agreement may provide for one or more of the following:

(a) provision for training to enhance skills and knowledge of the workmen;

(b) provision for an annual review of the wage system; and

(c) provision for a performance-based remuneration system.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), no trade union of workmen may include in its proposals for a collective agreement a proposal in relation to any of the following matters, that is to say—

(a) the promotion by an employer of any workman from a lower grade or category to a higher grade or category;

(b) the transfer by an employer of a workman within the organization of an employer’s profession, business, trade or work, provided that such transfer does not entail a change to the detriment of a workman in regard to his terms of employment;

(c) the employment by an employer of any person that he may appoint in the event of a vacancy arising in his establishment;

(d) the termination by an employer of the services of a workman by reason of redundancy or by reason of the reorganization of an employer’s profession, business, trade or work or the criteria for such termination;

(e) the dismissal and reinstatement of a workman by an employer;

(f) the assignment or allocation by an employer of duties or specific tasks to a workman that are consistent or compatible with the terms of his employment:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a trade union of workmen to raise in the course of any discussion with an employer or trade union of employers (whether or not the discussion is in the course of any collective bargaining) questions of a general character relating to the procedures of promotion of workmen notwithstanding that such questions do not form part of the proposals aforesaid.

(4) The employer, trade union of employers or trade union of workmen to whom invitation under subsection (1) has been made shall, within fourteen days from the receipt of the invitation, reply in writing to the party who has made the invitation notifying acceptance or otherwise of the invitation.

(5) Where an invitation to commence collective bargaining has been made and a reply notifying acceptance has been given the parties shall commence collective bargaining within thirty days from the date of receipt of the reply notifying acceptance of the invitation.

(6) Where an invitation to commence collective bargaining has been made and the invitation has been refused or not been accepted within fourteen days, or where no collective bargaining has commenced within thirty days from the date of receipt of the reply notifying acceptance of such invitation, the party making the invitation may notify the Director General in writing, whereupon the Director General may take such steps as may be necessary or expedient with a view to bringing the parties to commence collective bargaining without undue delay.

(7) If after such steps, as aforesaid, have been taken, there is still refusal to commence collective bargaining, a trade dispute shall be deemed to exist upon the matters set out in the invitation.

(8) Where a trade union of workmen considers that an employer or a trade union of employers has refused to allow without just cause or excuse any question referred to under the proviso to subsection (3) to be raised in the course of any discussion, the trade union of workmen may, within one month of such refusal, make representations in writing to the Minister who may, before giving any direction thereon, give an opportunity to the employer or his trade union and the trade union of workmen to be heard; and the direction of the Minister shall be final and conclusive.

Collective agreements

14. (1) A collective agreement shall be in writing and signed by the parties to the agreement or by persons authorized in that behalf.

(2) A collective agreement shall set out the terms of the agreement and shall, where appropriate—

(a) name the parties thereto;

(b) specify the period it shall continue in force which shall not be less than three years from the date of commencement of the agreement;

(c) prescribe the procedure for its modification and termination; and

(d) unless there exists appropriate machinery established by virtue of an agreement between the parties for the settlement of disputes, prescribe the procedure for the adjustment of any question that may arise as to the implementation or interpretation of the agreement and reference of any such question to the Court for a decision.

(3) Any term or condition of employment, contained in a collective agreement, which is less favourable than or in contravention of the provisions of any written law applicable to workmen covered by the said collective agreement, shall be void and of no effect to that extent and the provisions of such written law shall be substituted thereof.

15. (Deleted by Act A1322).

Deposit of collective agreements

16. (1) A signed copy of the collective agreement shall be jointly deposited by the parties with the Registrar within one month from the date on which the agreement has been entered into and the Registrar shall thereupon bring it to the notice of the Court for its cognizance.

(2) The Court may in its discretion—

(a) refuse to take cognizance of the collective agreement deposited under subsection (1) if it is of the opinion that the agreement does not comply with section 14; or

(b) before taking cognizance of the collective agreement deposited under subsection (1), require that such part thereof as does not comply with section 14 shall be amended in such manner as the Court may direct.

(3) If any party to the collective agreement fails to carry out such direction the Court may, notwithstanding any other power exercisable under this Act, amend the copy of the collective agreement in the manner directed after giving the parties a reasonable opportunity of being heard and the agreement so amended shall be deemed to be the collective agreement between the parties.

(4) (Omitted).

(5) Except in the case provided under subsection (3), the powers of the Court under this section may be exercised by the President sitting alone or, in the case of a Division, by the Chairman sitting alone.

Effect of collective agreement

17. (1) A collective agreement which has been taken cognizance of by the Court shall be deemed to be an award and shall be binding on—

(a) the parties to the agreement including in any case where a party is a trade union of employers, all members of the trade union to whom the agreement relates and their successors, assignees or transferees; and

(b) all workmen who are employed or subsequently employed in the undertaking or part of the undertaking to which the agreement relates.

(2) As from such date and for such period as may be specified in the collective agreement it shall be an implied term of the contract between the workmen and employers bound by the agreement that the rates of wages to be paid and the conditions of employment to be observed under the contract shall be in accordance with the agreement unless varied by a subsequent agreement or a decision of the Court.

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