We are at loggerheads with our recognised trade union. They are wholly unreasonable and endangering our business and the livelihoods of their members and other employees who are not in the union. Can we do anything to encourage members to leave the union and accept individual contracts? Alternatively, can we de-recognise the union for collective bargaining purposes and just enrol employees in a staff association?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 7 October 2014
Elaine Mettler
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

An employer cannot stop its employees from joining a trade union. Article 40.6.1(iii) of the Irish Constitution recognises the right of citizens to join trade unions. There is also a recognised freedom not to associate if an employee does not wish to join a union.

It is noted that you already have recognised this union for collective bargaining purposes and presumably have worked with them in the past. There is no statutory mechanism for de-recognition of trade unions – it something which does not happen in practice and any attempt to cease engaging with the Union is likely to be negatively viewed by the Labour Court or Labour Relations Commission.

At first instance, it would be advisable

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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Elaine Mettler
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Elaine Mettler. Contact telephone number is +353 1 618 0000 or email elaine.mettler@arthurcox.com

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