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Only citizens can join labor unions
Jeddah 20th May 2001

 The labor unions to be formed for the first time in big Saudi companies will have the right to express their opinions on improving the condition of workers, enhancing their productivity, and striking a balance between the interests of management and labor.

Under rules and principles laid down by a special committee for the Labor Consultative Council, which have been endorsed by the Cabinet, union members will also have the right to present their views regarding labor laws and systems, and on improving health and safety standards and developing training programs for workers.

Every establishment with 100 or more Saudi employees can set up a labor union, the union bylaw says. All labor unions and their members will be approved by the labor and social affairs minister. The unions will have not less than three and not more than nine members and membership will be for three years, which can be renewed once.

Only Saudis who are 25 years or older and have worked for not less than two years in the company can be members of its union.

The unions are also expected to achieve stability in work relations. The rules and principles were set out by a panel comprising representatives from the ministries of interior and labor and social affairs, the Experts Council and the Manpower Council.

The unionís meetings will be held at the firmís headquarters, the bylaw says. The institution will provide the union the necessary facilities to carry out its mission in the right manner. Under the bylaw, companies cannot cut salaries of union members for participating in its activities. Other interests of the union members should also not be affected.

The labor and social affairs minister will have the authority to depute someone to observe the proceedings of a unionís meeting to ensure that the basic principles are adhered to.

Source: Arab News©
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