Know your rights : You are free to join a trade union

April 18, 2017

Are you working with a company and have been prevented from joining or becoming a member of a staff association or a trade union? If so, it could be that your right to freedom of assembly and association may have been breached.

The law provides protection for freedom of assembly and association. Every person has the right to assemble with other people in a peaceful way. You also have the right to associate with other people, which includes the right to join or form a trade union or any other group or association to protect your interest.

The Constitution states that you should not be prevented from enjoying freedom of peaceful assemble and associating with other persons.

As is the case with other rights, your right to assembly and association may be restricted in specified circumstances, to include:

- Instances where the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health are threatened;

- For the purpose of protecting the rights or freedoms of other persons; or,

- Instances where such freedom of speech imposes restrictions upon public officers, police officers or upon members of the defence force.

If you are employed and working with a company and you are not allowed to join a trade union, you should contact the Ministry of Labour and Social Security at 1F North Street, Kingston. Tel: 922-9500.

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