PART NINE LABOUR DISPUTE
CHAPTER ONE GENERAL
In this Proclamation:
1/ “Conciliation” means the activity conducted by a person or persons appointed by the parties or appointed by the competent authority at the request of the parties for the purpose of bringing the parties together and seeking an amicable resolution of a labour dispute which their own efforts alone could not resolve;
2/ “Essential public service undertakings” means those services which shall be rendered without interruption to the general public and are the following undertakings:
a) air transport services;
b) electric power supply;
c) water supply and city cleaning and sanitation services;
d) urban light rail transport service
e) Hospitals, Clinics, dispensaries and pharmacies;
f) fire brigade services; and
g) telecommunication services;
3/ “Labour dispute” means any dispute between a worker and an employer or trade union and employers’ association in respect of the application of law, collective agreement, work rules, employment contract and also any disagreement arising during collective bargaining or in connection with collective agreement.
4/“Lock-out” means an industrial measure applied by employer through the closing of the place of work with a view to persuading workers to accept certain labour conditions in connection with a labour dispute or to influence the outcome of the dispute;
5/ “Strike” means the slow-down of work by any number of workers in reducing their normal out-put on their normal rate of work or the temporary cessation of work by any number of workers acting in concert in order to persuade their employer to accept certain labour conditions in connection with a labour dispute or to influence the outcome of the dispute.
CHAPTER TWO LABOUR COURTS
138. Establishment of Labour Divisions
1/ Labour divisions shall be established Coutrs, at Federal and Regional level.
2/The Ministry or the appropriate authority shall submit proposals for the decision of the appropriate authority on the number of labour divisions to be established in accordance with Sub-Article (1) of this Article.
139. Labour Division First Instance Court
1/ The labour division of a Federal and
Regional First Instance Court shall have jurisdiction to settle and determine the following and other similar individual labour disputes;
a) disciplinary measures including dismissal;
b) claims related to the termination of employment contracts;
c) claims related to hours of work, remuneration, leaves and rest day;
d) claims related to the issuance of certificate of service and clearance
e) claims pertaining to employment injury, transfer, promotion, training and other similar issues;
f)Unless otherwise provided in this Proclamation, suits pertaining to violations provisions of this Proclamation.
2/ The labour division of a Regional First Instance Court shall render its decisions within 60 days from the date on which the suit is filed.
3/ The party who is aggrieved with the decision of the first instance court may, within 30 days from the date on which the decision was delivered, lodge an appeal to the labour division of the Federal or Regional appellate court.
140. The Labour Division of Appellate Court
1/The labour division of Appellate the Frist Instance Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide on the following matters:
a) appeals submitted from the labour division of the first instance courts in accordance with Article 139 of this Proclamation;
b) objections on question of jurisdiction;
c) appeals submitted against the refusal of the registration of an organization by the Ministry or Appropriate Authority in accordance with Article 123 of this Proclamation;
d)appeals submitted by an employer who is affected by the order of labour inspector in accordance with Article 180(1) of this Proclamation;
e)appeals submitted against the decision of the Minister or Appropriate authority in accordance with Article 20 (3) Article of this Proclamation;
f)Request submitted by Minister or Appropriate authority for the cancellation of the registration of an organization in accordance with Article 122 (2) of this Proclamation.
g) Apples against the decision of the board on question of law in accordance with Article 155 of this proclamation
2/ The decision of the appellate court on appeal submitted under Sub-Article (1) of this Article shall be final.
3/ The labour division of the Federal or Regional Appellate Court shall render its decision within 60 days from the date of the appeal lodged in accordance to Sub-Article (1) of this Article.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT MECHANISM PERTAINING TO LABOUR ISSUES
141. Social Dialogue
Employers and workers or their respective associations may introduce social dialogue in order to prevent and resolve labour disputes amicably.
142. Assigning of Conciliator
1/ When a dispute in respect of matters specified under Article 143 is brought to the attention of the Ministry or the appropriate Authority by either of the parties to the dispute it shall assign a conciliator with a view to amicable settlement of the case.
2/ The Ministry or the Appropriate Authority may assign conciliators at the Federal, Regional and, when necessary, at the Woreda levels.
143. Duty and Responsibility of Conciliator
1/ A conciliator appointed by the Ministry or the Appropriate Authority shall endeavor to bring about a negotiated settlement on the following and other similar collective labour disputes:
a) issues of wages and other benefits which are not determined by work rules or collective agreements;
b)establishment of new conditions of work;
c)the conclusion, amendment, duration and invalidation of collective agreements:
d) the interpretation of any provisions of this Proclamation, collective agreements or work rules;
e) procedure of employment and promotion of workers;
f) issues affecting workers in general and the very existence of the Undertaking;
g) suits related to procedures issued by the employer regarding promotion, transfer and training;
h) Issues pertaining to reduction of workers.
2/A conciliator shall endeavor to bring about an amicable settlement by all means as he considers appropriate.
3/ When a conciliator fails to settle a labour dispute within 30 days, he shall report same to the competent authority together with his opinion, and shall serve copies of the report to the parties involved. Any one of the parties may submit the matter, other than those indicated under Sub-Article (1)
(a) of this Article to a Labour Relations Board. However, where the dispute under Sub-Article (1) (a) of this Article is related to those undertakings stipulated under
Article 137(2) of this Proclamation, one of the parties may submit the case to an Adhoc Labour Relations Board.
144. Conciliation and Arbitration
1/Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 142 of this Proclamation, parties to a dispute may agree to submit their case to arbitrators or conciliators, of their own choice for settlement in accordance with the appropriate law.
2/ If the parties fail to reach an agreement on the case submitted to conciliation under sub-article (1) of this Article or the party aggrieved by the decision of the arbitration may take the case to the Board or to the appropriate Court, as the case may be.
THE LABOUR RELATIONS BOARD
145. Establishment of the Board
1/One or more Permanent Labour Relations Board (hereinafter referred to as “Permanent Board”) may be established in each Regional State, as may be necessary. However, the ministry shall established Permanent Labour Relations Board to entertain cases involving undertakings owned by the Federal Government which are situated in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administration.
2/ Adhoc Labour Relations Board (hereinafter referred to as “ad hoc board”) may be established to hear and decide disputes that may arise on matters specified in Article 143
(1) (a) and in undertakings referred to in Article 137(2) of this Proclamation. Similarly, the Ministry shall established Adhoc Board when ever necessary to entertain cases involving undertakings owned by the Federal Government situated in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administration.
3/ Every Permanent or Ad hoc Board shall be established under the Ministry or Appropriate Authority.
4/ Notwithstanding to Sub-Article (3) of this
Article as per sub article (1) and (2) of this article Ad Hoc and permanent boards assigned to hear and decide disputes in respect of matters involving undertakings owned by the Federal Government located in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administration shall be established and be accountable to the Ministry.
146. Composition of Permanent or Ad Hoc Board
1/ A Permanent or Adhoc Board appointed by the
Ministry or Appropriate Authority shall comprises of a chair person, two members who have the knowledge and skill on labour matters, four members out of which two represent trade unions and two represent employers’ associations, and two alternate members one from each association.
2/ Employers Representatives shall be nominated from the most representative of Employers’ Associations and workers representatives shall be appointed from the most representative of Trade Unions.
3/The Ministry or the Appropriate Authority shall assign a secretary and such other necessary staff to the Board.
4/Members and alternate members of a board shall serve on part time basis without remuneration; provided, however, that the Ministry or the appropriate Authority shall fix standard fees for attendances at meetings of the board.
5/ Members and alternate members of the board shall be appointed for a term of three years; provided, however, that in making the initial appointments, the terms of one, two and three years, respectively, shall be specified so that in each subsequent year the terms of not more than one-third of the members and alternate members then serving shall expire in anyone calendar year.
6/The Ministry or the Appropriate Authority shall dismiss a member in case of neglect of duty or malpractice in office; and shall arrange for the appointment of a substitute for the remaining term.
147. Meeting Procedures of Permanent or Ad Hoc Boards
1/In the absence of the Chairperson another member of the Board designated by him as acting Chairperson, shall preside over the meetings of the Board. Where no such member is designated, the member of the Board who is senior in terms of his service shall act as a Chairperson.
2/ In the absence of a member at any meeting of the Board, the Chairperson may designate an alternate member to replace the absentee at such meeting. Alternate member so designated shall be deemed a member for the meeting for which he is designated.
3/ Four members of the Board shall constitute a quorum at any meeting; provided, however, that a minimum of one member representing the workers side and another member representing the employers’ side shall be present.
4/Decision of the board shall be taken by a majority vote of the members present. In case of a tie, the Chairperson shall have a casting vote.
5/ Each decision of the Board shall be signed by all members present.
6/Minutes of meetings after approval by the Board shall be certified by the secretary and shall thereafter constitute the official record of the said meetings.
148. Powers of Permanent or Ad Hoc Board
1/ A Permanent Board shall have the following powers:
a) to entertain collective labour disputes except those in sub-article (1) (a) of Article 143; conciliate the parties; issue orders and render decisions;
b) to entertain and decide cases submitted to it by one of the disputing parties after the parties fail to reach an agreement in accordance with sub- article(3) of Article 143 of this Proclamation except on matters specified in sub-article (1) (a) Article 143 of this Proclamation;
c) to hear cases on prohibited actions referred to in Article 161 of this Proclamation;
d) to require any person or organization to submit information and documents required by it for the carrying out of its duties;
e) to require parties and witnesses to appear at its hearings;
f) to administer oaths or take affirmations of persons appearing before it and examine any such persons after such an oath or affirmation;
g)to enter the premises of any working place or undertaking during working hours in order to obtain relevant information, hear witnesses or to require the submission of documents or other articles for inspection from any person in the premises.
2/ An Ad hoc Board shall have the power to entertain labour disputes on matters specified in sub-article l (a) of Article 143 of this Proclamation, to conciliate the parties and to give orders and decisions.
3/ Except in cases of urgency the person in charge of the premises or the undertaking shall be given reasonable advance notice before any entry in accordance with sub-article 1(g) of this Article.
4/ Orders and decisions handed down by a permanent or Ad hoc Board shall be considered as any civil case decisions.
149. Rules of Procedure
A Permanent or an Ad hoc board may adopt its own rules of evidence and procedure. In the absence of own procedure, the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code shall apply.
150. Hearings of cases
1/ Before disposing the case, a Permanent or An adhoc Board shall summon the parties concerned and provide them the opportunity to be heard. At least ten working days advance notice shall be given to the parties and the summons shall specify the date, time and place of the hearing.
2/If any of the parties or any other person properly summoned fails to appear at the time and place, the Board may proceed with the hearing. If the failure to appear was not attributable to the person concerned, the Board shall grant that person another opportunity to appear before it.
3/ No appeal may be lodged solely against the
Board’s ruling in accordance with sub-article
(2) of this Article.
4/ All deliberations of the Board shall be public unless the Board, for good cause, decides otherwise.
5/ A Permanent or an Ad hoc board shall not be bound by the rules of evidence and procedure applicable to Courts of law and may apply any method as it thinks fit.
6/ Trade Unions, employers’ Associations and other parties summoned to appear at a hearing may be represented by their duly authorized representatives or legal counsel. The Board may limit the number of such representatives who may actively participate in a hearing on behalf of any party.
151. Consideration of Matters
1/The permanent or the Ad Hoc Board shall exert all possible effort to settle the disputes before it amicably, and to this end it shall employ and make use of all conciliatory means as it deems appropriate.
2/The Board may, in appropriate circumstances, consider not only the interests of the parties before it but also the interest of the community of which they belong and may in such circumstances call up on the Government to intervene as an impartial advisor.
3/ In arriving at decision, the Permanent or Ad Hoc Board shall take into account the main merit of the case, and need not follow strictly the principles of substantive law followed by Civil Courts.
1/ A Permanent or An ad hoc Board shall give render a decision within 30 days from the date when the claim is filed.
2/ Decisions of a Permanent or an Ad hoc Board shall be made in writing and signed by the Board members who concur therein. Dissenting opinions, if any, shall also be made in writing and signed by the dissenting member.
3/ In every decision of a Board the decision shall contain the following:
a) The issue or dispute identified for decision;
b) The relevant testimony and evidence recorded together with their sources in the course of the proceedings;
c) The findings of the Board and the evaluation of the evidence which led the Board to make such findings;
d) The disposition of each issue or dispute;
e) The action to be taken on the basis of such decision.
4/ A copy of the decision of the Board shall be served to the parties concerned within five days from the date of the decision.
153. Effects of Decisions
1)Without prejudice to Article 155 of this Proclamation, any decision of a Permanent or an Ad hoc Board shall have an immediate effect.
2)Where the decision of a Permanent or an Ad hoc Board relates to working conditions, it shall be considered as the terms of the contract of employment between the employer and the worker, to whom it applies, and the contract shall be adjusted accordingly.
154. Finality of Board’s Findings of Fact
All findings of facts made by a Board shall be final and conclusive.
1/ In any labour dispute an appeal may be taken to the High Court by an aggrieved party on questions of law, within 30 days after the decision has been served to the parties.
2/The High Court shall have the power to affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the Board.
3/The High Court shall render its decision within 30 days from the date on which the appeal is submitted to it.
156. Offences against Permanent or Ad Hoc Board
1/ Whosever in the course of a board inquiry, proceeding or hearing in any manner disturbs deliberations shall be punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding six months or with fine not exceeding Birr 1000.
2/ Where the offence described in sub-article
(1) of this Article is not committed openly or out of court session, the punishment, except in more serious cases, shall be a fine not exceeding Birr 500.
3/ Proceedings of the Board shall be considered quasi-judicial proceedings and the Board a competent judicial tribunal for the purpose of Article 449 of the Criminal Code, and violations thereof shall be punishable as provided there under.
4/ The Board may punish any person who committed any offence described in this Article.
157. Annual Report
A Permanent or an A dhoc board shall have the responsibility to submit to the Minister or competent authority annual report of its activities.
CHAPTER FIVE STRIKE AND LOCK-OUT
1/Workers shall have the right to strike to protect their interests in the manner prescribed in this Proclamation.
2/ Employers shall have the right to lock-out in the manner prescribed in this Proclamation.
3/ The provisions of sub-articles (1) and (2) of this Article shall not apply to workers and employers of undertakings referred to in Article 137(2) of this Proclamation.
159. Conditions to be Fulfi1led
Prior to initiating a strike or lock-out partially or wholly the following steps shall be taken:
1/ The party initiating a strike or lock-out shall give advance notice to the other party indicating its reasons for taking the said action.
2/ Both parties shall make every effort to solve and settle their labour dispute in a mutually amicably manner.
3/ The strike to be taken by the workers shall have to be supported by simple majority of the workers concerned in a meeting in which at least two-third of the members of the trade union were present.
4/ Measures shall be taken to ensure the observance, by employers and workers, of safety regulations and accident prevention procedures in the undertaking.
160. Procedure for Notice
1/ The notice under Article 159(1) of this Proclamation shall be given by the party initiating a strike or lock-out to the other party, and to the Ministry or the appropriate Authority.
2/ The notice specified in sub-article (1) of this
Article shall be served 10 days in advance of taking action.
161. Prohibited Acts
1/Without prejudice to the provision of of
Article 160 (1) of this Proclamation, a strike or lock-out shall be unlawful if initiated after a dispute has been referred to a Board or to a Court and 30 days have not elapsed before any order or decision is given by the Board or the prescribed period has elapsed before the Court has given decision.
2/ It shall be unlawful to resist or unduly delay the execution of an order or a decision of a Board or Court disposing, in whole or in part, a labour dispute or to take or continue to strike or to lock-out in protest to such order or decision of the board or court; provided, however, that the strike or lock out shall not be unlawful if initiated in order to ensure compliance with such order or decision.
3/ It is prohibited to conduct strike or lock-out accompanied by violence, threats of physical force or with any act which is illegal.
CHAPTER SIX FEES
162. Exemption from Fees
1/ No service fees shall be levied in respect of cases submitted to conciliation and to a Labour Relations Board by any worker or Trade Union, employer or Employers’ associations in accordance with Articles 142 and 148 of this Proclamation.
2/ No court fees shall be levied in respect of labour cases submitted to courts by any worker or trade union.