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Volume :9 Issue : 34 1983      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

COLLECTIVE LABOUR RELATIONS IN WORK LEGISLATIONS IN THE ARAB GULF STATES

Auther : By: Dr. A. Zaki Badawi

 The regulation of collective labour relations aims at creating a state of co-existence between labour and capital through the introduction of the principles of justice and equality and mutual understanding between employers and employees.  The stabilization of these relations through collective agreements contributed favorably to the progress and development of industry.  The objective of this paper is to examine collective labour relations in work legislations in the six G.C.C. countries as well as Iraq and to compare them with both Arab and International standards.  A number of relevant topics were fully discussed, particularly as regards to the following:

1)                Enterprise regulations which outline and clarify the norms of action for all the workers in the firm, without leaving any option for the employer to apply arbitrary measures.  With the exception of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, labour legislations in the Arab Gulf States, do not stipulate the employer’s obligation to formulate the enterprise regulations.

2)                Work committees achieve effective communication and exchange of views between employers and employees, in addition to developing their mutual cooperation.  Labour legislations in some Gulf States stipulate the formation of such committees, and in some cases attribute to them additional functions, such as the settlement of disputes (Iraq) or wage determination (Kuwait).  Some states in the Gulf, however, do not specify at all the goals and objectives of these committees, whilst others bind the employer to acquire for their formation the consent of the competent administrative authorities whose duty is to encourage their formation without any reservations.

3)                Collective bargaining is one of the means of implementing mutual understanding between the representatives of workers and their employers.  Through collective bargaining, the two parties concerned usually reach joint agreements or collective contracts.

Work legislations in some Gulf States deal with collective bargaining in a generalized manner without reference to any provisions pertaining to collective labour agreements or contracts.  Both Iraq and Kuwait are exempted from this generalization.

4)                Conciliation and arbitration are both resorted to bring together both employers and employees to settle their disputes through negotiated agreements, which equally take into account the interest of the two parties.  Work legislations in all the Arab Gulf States with exception of Saudi Arabia; include provisions concerning conciliation and arbitration.  However, the chairmanship of the conciliation and the arbitration committees is left to representatives of the governmental labour authorities in some States, whereas, in others they should be presided by a judge.  In both the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, no reference is being made to the participation of representatives of workers or employers.  In the U.A.E., Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait, no terms are fixed for the procedures of convening the arbitration committees, though in principle, labour disputes have to be settled quickly.

The study is concluded with holding a comparison between the adopted work legislations related to collective labour relations in the Arab Gulf States, with those in force in the other Arab countries and with international standards and a set of recommendations are submitted in this context.

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