Factsheet no. 5 - Labour Relations and Collective Bargaining
Workers have rights and entitlements that are established in laws, employment contracts, collective agreements and workplace rules, as well as in custom and practice (the way things are normally done – and have been done for a long time – in a particular workplace, industry or occupation). We say that workers have a grievance when they believe that some aspect of these is not being respected by their employer. Grievances are usually described as ‘individual’ when only one worker is involved and ‘collective’ when a group of workers all believe they are suffering from the same breach of the rules. Grievances relate to addressing infringements of existing rights and entitlements, from bullying or harassment, to underpayment of wages, refusal to grant rest periods, weekly rest days or public holidays, discrimination or underpayment of bonuses or other entitlements.