Over the years, the role of employers in unionization disputes has been a matter of great concern. The right of Employers to approach the Court in unionization disputes is often curtailed because of locus standi (right to sue). The reasoning for this is that employers ought not to interfere in the rights of employees to associate. Based on this, unionization disputes in Courts and Tribunals mostly occur between competing trade unions or trade unions and employees.

This article considers the rights of employers to wade into disputes, where the contention is the recognition of a trade union by an employer. It also discusses the employer’s right to challenge the unionization process by trade unions, the jurisdictional scope of trade unions, and the exercise of the constitutional right to associate in trade unionization disputes.


Labour unions, also commonly regarded as trade unions, are organizations formed by workers from related fields to work for the common good of their members. According to the Trade Unions Act[1], a Trade Union is a combination of workers or employers whose purpose is to regulate the terms and conditions of employment of workers.

Trade Unions typically assist members with issues such as pay equity, a pleasant working environment, work hours, and other benefits, including the right to embark on industrial actions.[2] They represent a group of workers and usually serve as a link between management and workers.

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