Chapter VII: Collective Labor Bargaining and Contracts
Article 139: The point of collective bargaining is to pursue or solve professional or occupational differences or to improve the workers’ conditions of production or welfare, all of which can be achieved through determining regulations for confronting problems or securing the participation of both sides in finding solutions or through determining or changing the conditions, etc., at the level of the workplace, the profession, or the industry with the agreement of both parties. The demands raised by the two sides must be based on the necessary arguments and documents.
Note 1: Any subject concerning labor requires posing stipulations and creating regulations through collective bargaining may be subject to negotiation, provided that the country’s executive stipulations, including the government’s planning policies, do not prevent a decision being made on [it]. Collective bargaining must have as its aim reaching an agreement and peacefully resolving disputes conforming to the stature of both parties and refraining from any sort of action which would cause a disturbance of order of the meetings.
Note 2: Should both parties of the collective bargaining agree, they may request that the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs introduce to them an impartial person who is conversant in labor issues and can bring about cooperation in the negotiations as an expert in collective contracts. His role will be to help both parties to advance the collective bargaining.
Article 140: A collective labor contract is composed of a written contract concluded to determine the labor conditions between one or several [parties] (an [Islamic Labor] Council or a Craft Society or legal workers’ representatives) on the one hand, and one or several employers or their legal representatives on the other, or between committees and the Supreme Worker’s and Employer’s Committees.
Note: Should collective labor negotiations lead to the conclusion of a collective labor contract, its text must be written in triplicate and signed by both parties. Two copies of it shall be possessed by each party to the collective contract and the third shall be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs within a space of three days to be investigated and confirmed in exchange for a receipt.
Article 141: Collective labor contracts shall be valid under the law and allowed to be executed only if:
a) The benefits determined therein are not less than those envisioned under the law.
b) They do not conflict with the laws and provisions current in the country and what is determined and confirmed legally by the government.
c) There is no contradiction between the subject or subjects of the contract with items (a) and (b) as confirmed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Note 1: The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs must announce in writing its view that the contract does not conform to items (a) and (b) in this article within a space of thirty days.
Note 2: The view of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs that the content of the collective contract does not conform to items (a) and (b) is to be based on legal arguments and the provisions current in the country. Documented arguments and issues must be announced to both parties in writing within the space of time noted in Note 1 of this article.
Article 142: Should differences of opinion concerning various articles of this law or previous contracts or any of the subjects demanded by either side over closing a new contract lead to a work stoppage with the worker present in the workplace or a deliberate reduction of production by the workers, the Arbitration Panel is obliged to speedily investigate the disputed issue and announce an opinion based on the demands of both parties to the dispute or the worker’s and employers’ organizations.
Note: Should neither of the two parties to the collective contract accept the aforementioned opinion, each of them may within the space of ten days from the announcement of the Arbitration Panel (described in Article 158) appeal to the Conflict Resolution Panel mentioned in Chapter IX of this law, and request an investigation and the issuing of an opinion. After receiving the request, the Conflict Resolution Panel will immediately investigate the substance of the dispute in the collective contract and announce its own opinion on the collective contract.
Article 143: Should the Conflict Resolution Panel’s suggestions not be accepted by both parties within three days, the president of the local Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs is obliged to immediately send a report on the matter to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for it to take the necessary decision. Should it prove necessary, the cabinet may run the workshop in the employer’s place in whatever way it considers it necessary and for as long as the dispute continues.
Article 144: In collective labor contracts which are accepted for a specific period, neither of the parties may unilaterally demand that it be changed before the contract terminates unless exceptional circumstances arise which necessitate it as determined by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Article 145: The death of the employer or a change of his property has no effect on the execution of the collective contract, and should the work continue, the new employer will be considered the successor to the old one.
Article 146: In all individual labor contracts which are closed before or after the closing of a collective labor contract, the collective contract must be followed unless the individual contracts pay a higher salary than the collective one does.