Nature and Role of Employee Relations

Definition of Terms Commonly Used In This Unit

Industrial Relations is the study of job regulation, the making and administering of the rules which regulate employment relationships regardless of whether these are seen as being formal or informal, structured or unstructured thereby raising the fundamental question of who regulates, what, how etc.

The above definition stresses the political nature of industrial relations phenomenon. Industrial relations activities are interested in the creation of wealth, distribution of income and control over decisions i.e. who gets what, how and when.

Industrial relations is an important supervisory and managerial activity requiring knowledge and skills to create the right organizational culture. Its growth is due to many factors:

  • The power of trade unions
  • Motivating employees
  • Industrial democracy
  • Sociological, education and political changes
  • Larger corporations

Industrial relations can be regarded as a system or web of rules regulating employment and the ways in which people behave at work. The systems theory of industrial relations, as propounded by Dunlop (1958) states that the role of the system is to produce the regulations and procedural rules which govern how much is distributed in the bargaining process and how the parties involved, or the “actors” in the industrial relations scene, relate to one another.

The system is expressed in many more or less formal or informal guises, in trade union regulations, in collective agreements and arbitration awards, in decisions, and in occupied custom and practice.

The rules may be defined and coherent or ill-defined and incoherent. Rules are therefore meant to define the status quo of the parties involved

Hence, in this case industrial relations is a normative system where a norm can be seen as a rule, a standard, or a pattern for action which is generally accepted or agreed as the basis upon which the parties concerned should operate.

Employee relations: consist of the approaches and methods adopted by employers to deal with employees either through trade unions and/ or directly.

They will be based on the organization articulated or implied employee relations policies, objectives and strategies, industrial relations processes aspects of employee relations i.e. dealing between employers and trade unions.

Labour relations: represent the relationship that exists between the employer and employee in an industrial undertaking.

Employee: means a person who has entered into or works under contract with an employer, whether the contract is for manual labour, clerical work or otherwise, i.e. express on implied, oral or in writing and whether it is a contract of service or apprenticeship or a contract personally to execute any work

Employees association: means an association or combination whether temporary or permanent of more than six employees, which has as its principal purpose the regulation of relations between such employees and their employer or between such employees amongst themselves

Employees’ organization: means an association or combination, whether temporary or permanent, of more than six employees who work for different employers, which has as its principals purposes the regulations of relations between such employees amongst themselves.

Executive: means the body, by whatever name called, to which the management of affairs of a trade union is entrusted, and includes the chairman, the secretary and the treasurer of any trade union.

Staff association: means an association or combinations, whether temporary or permanent, of more than six employees employed in a civilian capacity under the government or a local authority or authorities, the principal object of which is the regulation of the relations between such employees and the government or such local authority or local authorities or between such employees amongst themselves.

Employer: Includes the Government and any public or local government authority.

Organization: Includes a trade union and federation.

Federation: Means a trade union which is itself an association or combination of trade unions.

Industrial court: means the court established under section 14 (Trade Disputes Cap 234).

Redundancy means the loss of employment, occupation, job or career by involuntary means through no fault of an employee involving termination of employment at the initiative of the employer where the services of an employee are superfluous, and the practices commonly known as the abolition of office, job or occupation and loss of employment due to the Kenyanisation of a business; but it does not include any such loss of employment by a domestic servant.

Strike: means the cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any trade or industry acting in a combination or a concerted refusal, or a refusal under a common understanding of any number of persons who are, or have been so employed, to continue to work or accept employment and includes any interruption or slowing down of work by any number of persons employed in any trade or industry acting in concert or under a common understanding (including any action commonly known as “sit down strike or go slow”)

Lock out: means the closing of a place of employment or the suspension of work, or the refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of persons employed by him in consequence of a dispute, done not with the intention of finally determining employment but with a view to compelling those persons, or to aid another employer in compelling persons employed by him to accept terms or conditions of or affecting employment.

Industrial court means the court established under session 14 of Trade Disputes Act Cap 234.

Trade Dispute: means a dispute or difference between employers and employees, or between employees and employees, or between employers and trade unions or between trade unions and trade unions, connected with the employment or non-employment or with the terms of employment or with conditions of labour.

Nature and purpose of employee relations

Employee relations policies express the philosophy of the organization on what sort of relationships between management and employees and their unions are wanted, and how they should be handled.

The overall aim of the policies should be to develop and maintain a positive, productive, cooperative and trusting climate of employee relations.

When articulated, policies on employee relations provide guidelines for action on employee relations issues and can help to ensure that these issues are dealt with consistently.

They therefore provide the basis for defining management’s intentions on key matters such as union recognition and collective bargaining.

Employee Relations Policies

The specific areas covered by employee relations policies are:-

  • Trade unions recognition: whether trade unions should be recognized or derecognised, which unions or unions the organization would prefer to deal with, and whether or not it is desirable to recognize only one union for collective bargaining and/or employee representational purposes.
  • Collective bargaining: the extent to which it should be centralized or decentralized and the scope of areas to be covered by collective bargaining.
  • Employee relations procedures: the nature and scope of procedures for redundancy, grievance handling and discipline.
  • Employee relationship: The extent to which terms and conditions of employment should be governed by collective agreements or based on individual contracts of employment.
  • Harmonization of terms and conditions of employment for staff and manual workers.
  • Working arrangements: the degree to which management has the prerogative to determine working arrangements without reference to trade unions or employees.

Employees Relations Objectives

Employee relations objectives define what the organization means to achieve in the application of its employee relations policies.  These are to:

  • Improve the employee relations climate
  • Decentralize collective bargaining arrangements
  • Introduce single table bargaining
  • Derecognize trade unions
  • Develop HRM type approaches of involvement and communication to increase mutuality.

Employee Relations Strategies

  • Employee relations strategies set out how objectives such as those mentioned are to be achieved.
  • Employee relations strategies should be distinguished from employee relations policies, strategies are dynamic.
  • They provide a sense of direction, and give an answer to the question, how are we going to get from here to there?
  • Employee relations policies are more about the here and now. They express the way things are done around here as far as dealing with unions and employees is concerned.
  • Revolving around unions is not a solution, but only when a deliberate effort is made to change policies that a strategy for achieving this change has to be formulated.

Thus, if the policy is to increase commitment the strategy could consider how this might be achieved by involvement and participation processes. The intentions expressed by employee relations strategies may direct the organization towards any of, the following:

  • Changing forms of recognition, including single union recognition, or derecognition.
  • Changes in the form and content of procedural arrangements
  • New bargaining structures, including decentralization or single table bargaining.
  • The achievement of increased levels of commitment through involvement or participation.
  • Generally improving the employee relations climate in order to produce more harmonious and cooperative relationships.
  • Increasing the extent to which management controls operations in such areas as flexibility.
  • Developing a partnership with trade unions, recognizing that employees are stakeholders and that it is to the advantage of both parties to work together (this could be described as a unitarist strategy aiming at increasing mutual commitment).

Employee Relations Climate

The employee relations climate of an organization represents the perceptions of management, employees and their representatives about the way in which employee relations are conducted and how the various parties (Managers, employers and trade unions) behave when dealing with one another.

An employee relations climate can be good, bad or indifferent according to perceptions about the extent to which:

  • Management and employee trust one another
  • Management treats employees fairly and with consideration.
  • Management is open about its actions and intentions i.e. employee relations policies and procedures are transparent.
  • Harmonious relationships are generally maintained on a day-to-day basis which result in willing cooperation rather than grudging submission.
  • Conflict, when it does arise, is resolved without resort to industrial action and resolution is achieved by integrative processes which result in a win-win solution.
  • Employees are generally committed to the interests of the organization and equally, management treats them as stakeholders whose interests should be protected.

Improving the Climate

Improvements to the climate can be attained by developing:

  • Fair employee relations policies and procedures and implementing them consistently.
  • Line managers and team leaders who are largely responsible for the day-to-day conduct of employees need to be educated and trained.
  • Transparency should be achieved by communicating policies to employees.
  • And commitment increased by involvement and participation processes.
  • Problems which need to be resolved can be identified by simply talking to employees, their representatives and trade union officials.
  • A quality of working life (QWL) strategy can be developed.
  • There is also need to build trust and an ethnical approach when dealing with employees.

The Institute of Personnel and Development, UK suggests that building trust is the only basis on which commitment can be generated and these tensions contained.  For these reasons, attaining or sustaining world class levels of performance will be increasingly unlikely in organizations which do not treat their employees in ways which are consistent with their status as the key business resource with two aims:

  • Employees cannot just be treated as a factor of production.
  • Organizations must translate these values into specific and practical action.

In too many organizations inconsistency between what is said and what is done undermines trust, generates employees’ cynicism and provides evidence of contradictions in management thinking.

History of Industrial Relations in Kenya

What follows is brief discussion of the Kenyan industrial relation scene from a historical perspective.

Industrial relations in the 1900’s and 1960’s

Introduction of capitalism in Kenya through British colonialism was the genesis of the present day employer-employee relations in Kenya. As early as the 1900’s trade unionism in Kenya has began making itself felt within the then major employer organisation the Kenya- Uganda Railway.

By 1939, the total number of employees in Nairobi then represented about 1% of the potential labour force in the country. The total labour force was at about 5%. However, this tinny % of wage employees was to constitute a significant force for the employers to reckon with and in 1947, the first major worker – employer confrontation took place. The first major trade union-African workers federation formed that same year was responsible for this strike in Mombasa.

This strike was the beginning of militancy that was to continue well into the emergency period starting In October 1952. The perceived link between Mau Mau and Trade unionism by the colonial government helping slacken Union activity. The defeat of the armed struggle saw the revival of unionism and by 1958, among others, the following unions had been registered; Kenya Shoe and Leather Workers Union, Kenya Engineering Workers Union, Kenya Timber and Furniture Workers Union, Kenya Electrical Trade Workers Union, Tobacco Brewing and Bottling Workers Union, Kenya Motor Engineering and Allied Workers Union and Kenya Quarry and Mine Workers Union.

The issue of recognition of the unions was another matter all together. For instance, the Kenya Engineering Workers Union was only recognized on 10th June 1960. Recognition by the employer organisation was and still is, therefore, an important step in the process of establishing formal union-employer remuneration negotiation channels.

It is significant that in the Agricultural sector, the trade union movement made itself felt fairly late. It is only in 1959 that the first agricultural workers union sisal and coffee plantations Workers Union was formed. This was followed by Tea Plantation Workers Union, General Agricultural Workers Union, Kenya Union of sugar plantation Workers union all coming in 1960. These appeared in the plantations near Nairobi, possibly due to pressure and influence from the urban movements.

Industrial Relations Development, 1960’s-1970’s

By the 1960’s the industrial relations scene in Kenya had become dominated by foreign – owned commercial and industrial organisations. The employers association (later renamed federation of Kenya employers) the ACIE (Association of Commercial and Industrial Employers) felt the need for closely monitoring the development of amicable industrial relations.

In 1962, the industrial relations charter was signed by the three major actors in Kenyan IR scene; the Kenya Government, Federation of Kenya Employers and the Kenya Federation of Labour. The charter was to stem the tide of strikes that had begun in 1961. It was to avoid such strikes that the charter pointed out that: –

“It is in the National interest for the Government, Management and workers to recognize that consultation and cooperation on a basic of mutual understanding render an essential contribution to the efficiency and productivity of an undertaking and that progress can only be made on a foundation of goods terms and conditions of employment which include security of service and income, also the improvement of workers conditions of service.”

The cause of these strikes were as varied as the various employer organisation, but they all shared the usual grievances; poor supervision, racial connotation in access to higher status positions and remuneration.

Strikes continued to be occasioned even after the charter more often, employers failed to meet some of their promised obligations and the new African government was more sympathetic to the employers cause than to that of the workers, who were being accused of engaging in counterproductive practices.

Workers now felt betrayed by their leaders who had become national political figures, and soon, the Kenya Federation of labour found itself facing stiff rivalry from the Kenya African Workers Congress, which claimed to be the real champion of the workers cause.

The government swiftly stepped in to avoid conformations. The end result was the formation of C.O.T.U (Central Organisation of Trade Union), which though an amalgamation of the two warring factions took more of the nature of Kenya Federation of Labour in its policies. The government Employer alliance had now won a major battle against workers.

Through time, the trade union movement in Kenya has continued to be subjected to server restrictions by the government. The industrial court had been seen as an effective instrument for meeting out justice. However government activities like through the issuance of wage guideline has now cast doubts to the courts independence.

The Trade Disputes Act, 1965, apart from establishing the Industrial Court introduced into the Kenyan industrial relations system, complicated procedures before a strike can take place. The Act and its rules and procedural regulations have tended to minimize the freedom of the workers in resorting to a strike as a last resort.

The trade union movement though strong in numbers is still weak in terms of influencing key managerial decisions. The weakness of trade unionism is vindicated by the fact that:

  • Unions do not provide any form of assistance to their members in the event they set victimized due to a strike
  • Except far a few unions, membership recruitment is done by the organizing secretaries and shop-stewards
  • Relatively few unions after any service other than bargaining and grievance handling to the members.
  • Most unions are one-man shows with the general secretary doing all the bargaining, handling all major grievances, resolving problems in the branches and so on.

These Union weaknesses are contrasted with the powerful position of the employers. The FKE provides all sorts of assistance to its employer associations, has great financial strength and always counts on government support in the event of a strike. The FKE has its own economics advisers, lawyers and IR experts, who boost the organisations, position vis-à-vis that of the workers on the bargaining table.


  1. Briefly define the following terminologies
  • Industrial relations
  • Employee relations
  • Labour relations
  1. What is the role of employee relations in managing the organization?
  2. Distinguish industrial relations and employee relations

Nature of Employment Relationships

Over the years the employer-employee relationship has changed from master and servant to one of employer and employee. This relationship is contractual, reciprocal and mutual.

Obligations, Rights and Responsibilities

Obligations of the employer:

The obligations of the employer include:

  • Provision of wages
  • Statement and provision of benefits
  • Provide work and assign duties to the employee
  • Provide materials and equipment necessary to perform the work
  • To respect human dignity of the worker
  • Provide occupational health and safety measures in the work environment
  • Give employees rest during public holidays and leaves

Employee’s Obligations

The employee is expected to:

  • Provide an honest, efficient, and faithful service
  • Obey instructions
  • Perform their work as specified in the contract
  • Handle equipment with due care
  • Report any health hazard to the employer
  • Follow the rules and directives of the law

Rights of Employees

Employees have the following rights:

  • Job security
  • Entitlements to pay and benefits
  • Freedom of association
  • Refusal to work if the workplace is unsafe
  • Right to strike
  • Right of appeal to redress grievances.

Employers’ Rights

Employer rights include:

  • Right to formulate rules for recruitment etc.
  • Right to discipline (within the allowance of relevant Acts), expect the employee to work and behave within rules as per agreed terms.

Significance of Industrial Relations

The significance of good industrial relations in any country cannot be overemphasized. Good industrial relations are necessary for various reasons.

  • Good industrial relation helps in the economic progress of a country. The problem of an increase in productivity is essentially the problem of maintaining good industrial relations
  • Good industrial relations help in establishing and maintaining true industrial democracy, which is a prerequisite for the establishment of a socialist society
  • Good industrial relations help management both in the formulation of informed labour relations policies and their translation into action
  • Good industrial relations encourage collective bargaining as a means of self-regulation. They consider the negotiation process as an educational opportunity, a chance both to lean and to teach
  • Good industrial relations help government in making laws for bidding unfair practices of unions and employers
  • Good industrial relation reflects themselves in several ways. In workers movement – unions gain more strength and vitality. There is no inter-union rivalry. Employers give unions their rightful recognition and encourage them to participate in all decision. Unions divert their activities form fighting and belligerence to increasing the size of the distribution –cake and to making their members more informed, no vital issues concerning them.
  • Good Industrial relations boosts the discipline and morale of workers. Maintenance of discipline ensures orderliness, effectiveness and economy in the use of resources.

Conditions for Good Industrial Relations

Good industrial relations depend on a great variety of factors. Some of the more obvious ones are listed below:

  • History of Industrial Relations
  • Economic satisfaction of workers
  • Social and psychological satisfaction of workers
  • Off-the-job conditions of workers
  • Enlightened and responsible labour unions
  • Negotiating skills and attitudes of management and workers
  • Public policy and legislation
  • Education of workers
  • Nature of industry and business cycle

History of industrial relations

A good history is marked by harmonious relationship between management and workers. A bad history by contrast is characterized by militant strikes and lockouts. Both types of history have a tendency to perpetuate themselves. But a perpetuating tendency does not mean that a history of conflict cannot be overcome or that a history of harmony cannot explode into violence.

Economic satisfaction of workers

Human needs have a certain priority. Need number one is the basic need for survival. Man works because he wants to survive. Hence the economic satisfaction of workers is another important contributor to good industrial relations.

Social and psychological satisfaction

Identifying the social and psychological urges of workers is an important step in the direction of building good industrial relations. Man has several other needs besides his physical needs which should also be given due attention by the employer.

The supportive climate of an organisation is essentially built around social and psychological rewards. Workers participation in management, job enrichment, suggestion schemes, redressal of grievances, effective two-way communication are same such social and psychological rewards.

Off-the-job conditions

Although some employers may occasionally wish that they could employee only a person’s skill or brain, they in fact end up employing a whole person. His home life is not totally separable from hi s work life, and his emotional condition is not different from his physical condition. Hence for good industrial relations, it is not enough that the workers factory life alone should be taken care of. His off-the-job conditions should be improved.

Enlightened Labour Unions

The most important single condition necessary for good industrial relations is a strong and enlightened labour movement, which may help to promote the status of labour without jeopardizing the interests of management. Investigations show unions though talk much of the employer’s obligations to the workers, say very little about the workers responsibility to the employer. Many enlightened unions usually do focus on employee contribution and responsibility and they have gained both social and economic rewards by this approach. Such unions exhort workers to produce more, persuade management to pay more, mobilize public opinion on vital labour issues and help government to enact progressive labour laws.

Negotiating Skills and Attitudes of Management and Workers

Well trained and experienced negotiators who are motivated by a desire for industrial peace create a bargaining atmosphere conducive to the writing of a just and equitable collective agreement. On the other hand, ignorant, inexperienced, and ill-trained persons fail because they do not recognize that collective bargaining is a difficult human activity that requires careful preparation.

Public Policy and Legislation

When government regulates employee relation, it becomes a third major force determining industrial relations – the fist two being the employer and the union. Governments intervene in management – union relationships by enforcing labour laws and by insisting that the goals of the whole society take precedence over those of either of the parties.

Governments intervene in a number of ways:

  • It helps in catching and solving problems before they become serious
  • It provides a formalized means to the workers and employers to give emotional release to their dissatisfaction
  • It acts as a check and balance upon arbitrary management action
  • Better Education

Industrial workers in developing countries are generally illiterate and are misled by outside trade union leaders who have their own axe to grind. Better workers education can be a solution to this problem.

Nature of Industry and Business Cycle

Industrial relations are good when there is boom and prosperity all around. During such periods, levels of employment and wages rise, which make workers happy. But during recession, there is a decline in employment levels and wages. This makes workers unhappy and mars good industrial relations.

Causes of Poor Industrial Relations

Poor industrial relations are the result of a number of socio-economic, political and psychological factors, which are as follows:

  • Uninteresting Nature of work
  • Political Nature of Unions
  • Poor Wages
  • Occupational Instability
  • Poor behavioural climate

Uninteresting Nature of Work

The problem of poor industrial relations is essentially a product of large scale production which has made man subordinate to the machine. Due to specialization, a worker in a factory performs only a minor operation in the entire production process. This has made him lose his sense of pleasure, pride and satisfaction from work, which he used to get. This dissatisfaction of the worker on the shop floor generally culminates into big strikes and lockouts.

Political Nature of Unions

Another major irritant to good industrial relations is the politicization of labour unions by outside political leaders. This leads to multiple unions and inter-union rivalry. Inter –union rivalry depresses both a union’s membership and its finances. As such, unions are unable to be effective.

Poor Wages

Too much tight or complicated wage and incentive and pay systems are a cause of poor industrial relations. Wage and salary differentials between occupations also create a feeling of inequality and mar good industrial relations.

Occupational Instability

Occupational stability makes workers feel secure on their jobs, and as such positive industrial relations.



Poor Behavioural Climate

The behavioural climate of an organisation which is made up of its culture, traditions and methods of action may by either favourable to the worker or unfavourable. Favourable climate helps the worker meet his economic, social and psychological needs. It produces a good image of the organisation in his mind. An unfavourable climate prevents a worker from meeting his various types of needs and produce a negative impression of organisation. This drives the worker to seek membership of a militant labour organisation to vent his negative feelings. This causes poor industrial relations.

Suggestions to Improve Industrial Relations

  • Both management and unions should develop constructive attitudes towards each other.
  • All basic policies and procedures relating to industrial relations should be clear to everybody in the organisation and to the union leaders
  • The personnel manager should remove any distrust by convincing the union of the company’s integrity and his own sincerity and honesty.
  • The personnel manager should not vie with the union to gain workers loyalty. He should not try to win them away from the union
  • Management should encourage the right kind of union leadership
  • After a settlement is reached between the employer and employee’s unions the agreement should be properly enforce.

The Industrial Relations Charter

As earlier indicated, the period between 1958 and 1961 saw a lot of agitation, upheavals and strikes in the labour movement in Kenya, although there was confusion between agitation for political independence and labour matters.

The above confusion led the colonial government to formulate a document in 1962 to insulate industrial agitation from political agitation. This document was the Industrial Relation Charter. It became the ‘mother’ of industrial relations in Kenya. The charter was revised in 1980.

The charter defines the social contract between the three parties involved in Industrial Relations – the Government of Kenya, the employees and the employers. The charter made provisions for the RECOGNITION AGREEMENT, which forms the basis of the collective bargaining system. The three parties started TRIPARTITE.

General Clauses of the Charter

  • To affirm the faith of the three parties to democratic principles on labour matters i.e. differences should be solved through mutual negotiations, conditions and arbitrations.
  • In case of strikes or lockouts parties agreed to be bound by: – mutual agreements and the law i.e. the Trade Dispute Act
  • The three parties agreed to abide by and co-operate in implementing the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA’s)
  • They undertook to observe the grievance procedure contained in the Recognition Agreement
  • The government to educate labor officers, Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) to educate employers, and COTU to educate employees on the importance of good Industrial Relations
  • The three parties agreed to form the National Consultative Council to advice the Minister for labour on all general Industrial Relations Matters.
  • The NCC was to form a demarcation committee to determine areas of jurisdiction in the event of conflict by Trade Unions
  • Each party was to respect one another’s Freedom of Association.
  • Pa rities agreed to act expediently in replying to correspondence from another party.
  • The charter established a Tripartite Consultative Council to advice the minister on matters affecting the economy in general and employment in particular
  • The charter excluded the following groups of workers from participation in Union matters: –
  • Staff who formulate, control or administer any aspect of organisation policy
  • Staff who perform work that is of confidential nature.


Parties Involved

These are; the government (Ministry of Labour), COTU (for all employees in unions) and FKE (for employers)

  1. The Government

Responsibilities include: –

  • Ensure speedy settlement of disputes and a return to work formula
  • Have joint consultations with COTU and FKE on matters of employee policy and administration
  • Promote Industrial Trade Unionism as opposed to Craft Trade Unionism
  • Ensure no overlaps among registered unions through clear definition of each Union
  • To display the charter in the offices and ensure that officers comply with it.
  1. Employer (FKE)

Individuals or groups of employers undertook:

  • Accord recognition to unions as the negotiating bodies, by signing the recognition Agreement
  • Not to be involved in the right to registration of a union
  • Not to discriminate, malign or coerce any employee because of his union activities
  • To recognize the ILO Convention No. 98 the right to bargain collectively and to organize/associate freely.
  • To take action to settle grievances that may arise in the organisation
  • To implement all decisions in the CBA
  • Not to be irrational be able to distinguish between acts that require dismissal and those that require other less severe disciplinary action
  • To avail time and opportunity of ordinary workers to reach employer/management on personal maters
  • To let managers and workers know about the charter and give the document publicity.
  1. COTU (for employees)

The union under took to:

  • Discourage breach of peace or civil commotion by Union Members
  • Ensure the union representatives do not encourage or cause members to engage in union activities during working hours
  • Discourage members from neglect of duty, destruction of property, use of abusive language and disturbance of normal work
  • Make the charter known to members and give it publicity
  • Promote a high degree of union membership so that CBA covers a majority of workers.

The Recognition Agreement

This is a document, which defines the relationship between employers and employee, and gives rights and privileges to each party. The signing of this document leads to Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA’s).

The document is in recognition of ILO convention number 111, which provides guidance to social policy on employment. This ILO document calls for:

  • All parties to avoid discrimination based on race, gender etc
  • All parties agree to end strikes/ lockouts as a means to settle disputes
  • Employees not to intimidate employers
  • No press statements to be issued before an issue is settled
  • Managers should no be intimidated by union in performance of their work
  • No closed shop trade unionism-where workers are forced to become members of a particular union
  • Hit lists are prohibited and work council recognized
  • Subsidiaries of multi-nationals to be bound by regulations of the local country.


Components of a Recognition Agreement

  • Recognition Agreement must define confidential staff those handling confidential corporate matters
  • After elections unions must notify employers of the elected officials at National and Branch levels and accord these officials proper credentials
  • Employers are bound to negotiate only with accredited union officials
  • Recognition Agreements must state that no employee will be forced to join a particular union and neither should the employer punish employees for joining a union.
  • Employers will reserve the right to manage in certain matters
  • Union activities must be conducted outside working hours unless with permission from the employer

Note: Tripartite Approach is used in resolving labour related issues where the government, COTU and FKE sit together and deliberate until an agreement is reached.


Identify and discuss the causes of poor industrial relations in post-independence Kenya.

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