The Kenyan Legal Regime relating to trade dispute resolution and agenda for reform

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The Kenyan Legal Regime relating to trade dispute resolution and agenda for reform.

A trade dispute is under section 2 of the Labour relations Act is defined as: a dispute or difference or an apprehended dispute or difference between employers and employees, between employers and trade unions or between an employer organization and employees or trade unions, concerning any employment matter and includes disputes regarding the dismissal, suspension or redundancy of employees, allocation of work or the recognition of a trade union.1 The causes of industrial disputes can be broadly classified into two categories: economic and non-economic causes. The economic causes will include issues relating to compensation like wages, bonus, allowances, and conditions for work, working hours, leave and holidays without pay, unjust layoffs and retrenchments.

The non-economic factors will include victimization of workers, ill treatment by staff members, sympathetic strikes, political factors, indiscipline etc. Among the various methods of highlight trade disputes include engagement in strikes and lockouts and having meetings between employer and employee.

A strike is defined as the cessation of work by employees acting in combination, or a concerted refusal under a common understanding or employees to continue to work for the purpose of compelling their employer or an employer’s organization of which their employer is a member to accede to any demand in respect of a trade dispute.2 This definition throws light on a few aspects of a strike. Firstly, a strike is a referred to as stoppage of work by a group of workers employed in a particular industry. Secondly, it also includes the refusal of a number of employees to continue work under their employer. Strikes can be classified either as wild-cat strikes – these are strikes which are illegal. All the laid down procedures are ignored and the employees withdraw their labour or the Lawful strikes – these are strikes which...
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