The importance of the collective labor contract in regulating the relationship between labor unions and unions and between business owners in order to achieve a balance of interests between labor power and economic power, as Kuwaiti law granted Kuwaiti workers the right to form trade unions and federations that take into account their interests. It works to improve their material and social condition through collective bargaining with employers to improve working conditions and conditions.
The concept of a collective contract of work
It is an agreement regulating the terms and conditions of work between one or more trade unions or unions, and one or more employers or their representative from the employers’ unions, and its effects go to persons who did not participate in its conclusion.
There are three levels at which collective labor contracts are concluded in the State of Kuwait, which are the level of the establishment or industry or at the national level. The national level, and the contract concluded at the industry level is considered an amendment to the contract concluded at the facility level, as well as the contract concluded at the national level is considered an amendment to any of the other two contracts.
Writing a collective contract
The collective work contract must be in writing and signed by the worker, and it must be presented to the general assembly of workers’ and employers’ organizations and approved by its members.
Duration of the collective work contract
One of the conditions of the collective work contract is that it be for a fixed term and its term does not exceed three years. In the event that the parties to the contract continue to implement it after the expiry of its term, the contract shall be considered renewed for a period of one year with the same conditions stated therein. In the event that one of the parties to the collective work contract wishes not to renew the contract after the expiry of its term, he must notify the other party and the competent ministry of his desire not to renew, and this shall be in writing three months before the date of the end of the contract.
Application of the provisions of the contract
The provisions of collective labor contracts in the State of Kuwait apply to labor unions and federations, business owners or their federations, unions organizing the federation, and business owners joining the federation, whether they conclude the contract or join it after its conclusion.
The provisions of the collective work contract concluded by the establishment’s union shall also apply to all the workers of the establishment, even if they are not members of the union, with regard to the terms most beneficial to the worker. As for the contract concluded by a federation or union with a specific employer, it shall only apply to the workers of the employer who concluded the contract.
The workers’ withdrawal or dismissal from the union does not affect their subjection to the provisions of collective labor contracts if such withdrawal or dismissal occurred after the date of concluding or joining the contract.
It is forbidden for the worker to waive one of his rights in the collective labor contract
Every condition or agreement in collective work contracts that leads to the worker’s waiver of any of his rights and was not more beneficial to the worker, and any reconciliation or clearance that includes a reduction or release of any of the worker’s rights arising from him under the work contract during its validity period or during Three months from the expiry date.
Employment contract registration
In order for the work contract to be valid, it must be registered with the competent ministry and its summary published in the Official Gazette. The competent ministry may object to the conditions contained in the contract that it deems to be in violation of the law, and the two parties must, within fifteen days from the date of receiving the objection, amend the contract, otherwise the application for registration shall be considered as if it were not.
Joining a team work contract
Non-contracting labor unions, federations, business owners or their federations may submit an application to the competent ministry to join the collective work contract after publishing its summary in the Official Gazette. Applicants to join may sign it without the need for the consent of the original contracting parties, and the Ministry’s approval of this request is published in the Official Gazette.
Work organizations and business owners that are a party to a collective labor contract in case of breach of the provisions of the contract have the right to file lawsuits in the interest of any of its members without the need for a power of attorney from him to do so.
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