Steps for problem solving

If any confusion arises at the workplace, always take the initiative to clarify the matter. Discuss the matter with your employer.

If the matter cannot be settled and a shop steward has been appointed at the workplace, talk to the shop steward and ask for help.

If you cannot clarify the matter at the workplace, contact the Woodworkers’ Union’s regional representative or request the shop steward to do so. In case of a language barrier, you can contact the international secretary of the union in English.

Be prepared to explain your issue in writing and in as much detail as possible. Collect any related documents.

The regional representative will negotiate on the matter based on your proxy either with the employer (if the employer is unorganised) or with the employer association (if the employer is a member in an employer association).

All disputes must primarily be settled through negotiations. If the union has been authorised to handle the dispute by proxy, union representatives are entitled to settle the dispute before court procedures. The agreement is binding to all parties. Please note that once the agreement has been made, neither you or your employer can make any further claims.

If the dispute cannot be solved through negotiations, an application for legal aid (unorganised employers) or a memorandum of disagreement (organised employer) can be prepared.

The union’s employment condition and legal affairs work group will process the issues, assess the likelihood of success and propose granting legal aid. The union labour committee may grant the legal aid. The industry-specific employment condition secretary will try to further negotiate on the matter.

If legal aid is granted, the union lawyers will take over the matter. In such a case, the judicial proceedings are free of charge to the member. The issues will be settled in a district court or a labour court.

Please note that judicial processes are long and may last for months or even years. The union will promote the matter to the best of its ability.