Unions agree to levy non-member workers’ pay

Friday July 26 2013

By Martin Ssebuyira

Many companies, especially those dealing in horticulture, have been signing collective bargaining agreements with trade unions to increase workers’ pay with union representatives quarreling about non union members leaving the negotiations without any penny.

The debate has been going on for some years until the ministry of labour okayed a law to deduct money from non-labor union members.

The challenge was however to implement the law as many employers reportedly feared that all workers could join unions, to their disadvantage.

Last week, Uganda Horticultural, Industrial, Service Providers and Allied Workers Union (UHISPAWU) under the National Organisation for Trade Unions (Notu) for the first time signed a pact with Royal Van Zanten in Mukono to start deducting money from non-union labor members in an effort to promote labour movements as prescribed in the new Labour Act 2011.
The new move that will see all non-union members pay 1 per cent of their gross pay will cut across all companies with workers organised in labour unions.

“We are here to implement the employment act that provides for levying 1 per cent of the gross salary of non union member’s wage or salary,” Mr Stephen Barasa, the secretary general of UHISPAWU noted in an interview.

He said the union has written to all employers. He added that UHISPAWU has given all employers a one month ultimatum to start implementing the act short of which would be taking them to court.


Mr Cees Den Boer, the Operations Manager at Royal Van says they work with labour unions to create industrial harmony and reduce industrial unrests.

Employers’ agreement
“We have taken the lead. We want other employers to follow because the more we comply with the law, the better the organisation of our businesses,” he said.
Mr Jacques Schrier, Fiduga flower firm managing director, says workers are assets who should be respected for companies for grow bigger.
“Companies can’t run without workers, likewise workers have no work without investors that necessitates us to work together, respect each other to better the country’s economy,” he said.