Problem1. Mike has been in the continuous employment of Maxwell cleaning and laundry Co. Ltd since 1st August 2000. He is also a member and secretary of Cleaning and Laundry Workers Union, a union that has acquired negotiating rights. On 1st June 2009, the Union has started the process of collective bargaining with regard to the terms and conditions of employment of its members. Throughout the process of negotiations, the parties have failed to reach a consensus. As secretary of Union, Mike has decided to convene a meeting of the Union to be held on 7th July 2009 at 1630 hrs on the premises of his employer to inform the members of the outcome of the negotiations and has addressed a letter to all the Union members. The contents of the letter were highly defamatory of his employer. In the letter, the union members were also informed that one Gabriel would address the Assembly. The employer has refused to grant permission to Mike to hold the union’s meeting on its premises and has strongly objected to presence of Gabriel on its premises. Mike, nevertheless, went ahead with the meeting.
On 8th July 2009, Mike has received a letter wherein he was informed that he has been suspended from duty and was asked to appear before disciplinary committee to be held on 15th July 2009 at the seat of the Company to answer two charges of insubordination and refusal to obey to lawful orders correspondingly. Mike was also informed of his right to be assisted by a union representative, an officer or a legal representative. Proceedings before the disciplinary committee ended on 22nd July 2009.
On 28th July 2009, Mike received a letter dated 27th July 2009 informing him that the committee had found the charges proved and that his contract of employment has been terminated forthwith. Mike contends that his contract of employment has been terminated without good cause and justification inasmuch as he was participating in union activities, a right conferred upon him by law. Mike seriously intends to sue his employer before the competent court for unjustified termination of employment and has come to seek your advice.
Advise Mike in the light of section 29 of Employment Relations Act 2008 which provides inter alia that every worker shall have the right to establish or join, as a member, a trade union of his own choice and to take part in lawful activities of a trade union of which he is a member.