Home Page ->
Legal Articles -> Boss says I can’t join trade union
Welcome to Scorpion’s Legal Tips! Every week we’ll share stories of injustice and show you how you can strike back legally.
Looking to join a trade union but afraid of what your employer might do? Maybe you’re worried you’ll be discriminated against or that your boss will start treating you badly because of it. Scorpion Legal Protection explains your rights.
The Constitution protects every worker’s right to join (and form) a trade union. The right to freedom of association and the right of workers to join trade unions is also protected by the Labour Relations Act (LRA). There are no industries where this is not allowed, and no employer may tell any worker that they cannot join a trade union. Any worker can join a trade union.
An employer also cannot get around the law by writing into your employment contract that you cannot join a union. If they do, it will not be valid as this is a constitutional right.
No, but you won’t be able to hide it from your employer either because the unions communicate directly with the employer when you join to let them know that you are now part of the union, arrange for salary deductions relating to union fees as well as for bargaining agreements and negotiations. By law, employers have to work with recognised unions.
It is your right to join a trade union if you want to. Section 185 of the LRA states that every employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed and/or be subjected to unfair labour practices. Threatening employees, demoting them, deliberately reducing their shifts and other tactics meant to punish workers for joining trade unions can be seen as unfair labour practices.
It’s good to keep in mind that the relationship between employer and employee should benefit both. Employees often have no choice but to unionise and strike. Where strikes may benefit the group, they fail to meet the individual and family needs. Scorpion Legal Protection members have their own tough lawyers to fight their labour battles in court.
You may also be interested in:
How to fill in the CCMA referral form
3 must-know tips for CCMA arbitration
Step-by-step guide on going to the CCMA
We have a team of lawyers available to answer your legal questions every first Thursday of the month from 11:30 to 13:30 on the Scorpion Legal Protection Facebook page for free. Have your legal question answered on the spot at the Scorpion Live Q&A.
* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 27 June 2022
If you prefer to leave us an online query, please complete the form below and we will call you back.
Please select an enquiry type
Membership card / policy update query
Income Tax query
Last will & testament
Please select a complaint type
Poor service/Rude staff