Law "On Trade Unions"


Chapter 1
General provisions


Article 1. Idea of trade unions


1. In accordance with the Declaration of the Renewal of the Republic of Latvia Independence and Latvian laws republic residents have the right on free trade unions.

2. The Republic of Latvia trade unions are independent social organisations, which express, represent and protect labour and other social and economic rights and interests of their members in accordance with the Republic of Latvia Law "On Trade Unions", other effective in the Republic of Latvia laws and statutes of the Republic of Latvia trade unions, as well as by considering the principles and norms, established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international treaties and conventions.


Article 2. Freedom of trade unions


1. The Republic of Latvia residents, who work or study, have the rights to organize trade unions.

2. Trade unions may be organised in accordance with principles of profession, branch, territory or other principles. Employers may organize their trade unions. Forms of the trade unions activity, organizing structure and procedures for its founding are established and regulated in the statutes of trade unions, adopted by themselves and in this Law.

3. Decision on termination of trade unions activity or its uniting in territorial, branch and other associations shall adopt the members of the trade union in the procedure, stipulated by statutes.


Article 3. Registration of trade unions


1. Application on registration of the trade union The Republic of Latvia Ministry of Justice shall review within a month after the receiving the application and statutes.

2. The trade union is to be registered, when it has united no less than 50 members or no less than one fourth of the employees, engaged in corresponding enterprise, institution, organisation, profession or branch. If it is necessary, the Ministry of Justice may require information on number of the members of that trade union to be registered.

3. The trade union is not registered if requirements of this Law are violated, as well as activities, which contradict the Republic of Latvia laws in effect, are anticipated in statutes. The Ministry of Justice shall inform the founders of the trade union on refusal for registration within 3 days by indication the motives of refusal.

4. The refusal for registration can be appealed in court in the procedure, stipulated by law.


Article 4. Independence and equality of trade unions


1. Trade unions are independent in their activity from the state authority and administration institutions, other organisations, and are mutually equal. They act in accordance with the Republic of Latvia laws in effect.

2. Any activity is prohibited, which aims the direct or indirect subordination of trade unions to the state or other institutions and organizations, as well to hinder the activity of trade unions, which is anticipated in the law or statutes.

3. Trade unions are authorised to enter the international trade unions organisations, to sign agreements and understandings with them, as well as with foreign trade unions.


Article 5. Trade unions as legal entities


1. Trade unions after their registration shall obtain the rights of legal entity.

2. The structure unit of the trade union shall obtain the rights of legal entity in the procedure, stipulated by statutes.



Chapter II
Relatioships of trade unions and the state authority and administration institutions


Article 6. Rights on legislative proposals


Trade unions have the rights on legislative proposals in the level of republican institutions.


Article 7. Rights to participate in working out the programs of economic and social development and legislative acts


Trade unions have the rights to participate in working out the programs of economic and social development, laws and other normative acts which concern the labor conditions and salaries, forming the prices, social insurance and maintenance, health protection and other issues of labor and social development. Trade unions shall realize these rights in the Republic of Latvia Supreme Council and the Republic of Latvia Council of Ministers through the mediation of its republican institutions. Proposals to be submitted must be reviewed and in the event of rejecting it must be motivated.


Article 8. Rights to participate in the determination of criteria of standards of residents' life


Trade unions shall take part in the determination of criteria of standards of the republic residents life. Trade unions have the rights to receive from the state institutions free information concerning the social and economic situation of residents and changes in it, to require the republic government to establish the reasonable living wage, no less than once a year to balance wages, pensions, scholarships and allowances corresponding to increasing of prices.



Chapter III
Relationships of trade unions and employers


Article 9. Representation of interests of the trade union members in relation-ships with employer


Trade unions are independent from the employer, by the mediation of the elected institutions they represent its members in relationships with employer and protect their labour, professional and social rights and interests.


Article 10. Collective agreement


Trade unions on behalf of their members sign the collective agreement with the employer on labour and other social and economic issues.


Article 11. Relationships with the employer


The employer settles the labour, social and economic issues in the cases, stipulated by law, by coordination with the elected institutions of trade unions.


Article 12. Property and financial relationships with the employer


Property and financial relationships of trade unions and the employer are established by the Republic of Latvia laws, collective agreement and other agreements.



Chapter IV
Relationships of trade unions and employers


Article 13. Realisation of trade unions rights


Trade unions determine methods for protection their members in their statutes, collective and other agreements.

Trade unions are authorized to institute the responsibility and even dismissal of officials, who violate labour, collective farming, co-operative, dwelling space as well as environmental protection legislation.

Collegiate institutions of trade union have the rights to submit directions on changing the decisions of administration and commercial institutions, as well as to require the stopping the activity of those decisions, if they contradict to the Republic of Latvia Law "On Trade Unions", disregard labour, dwelling space and other social and economic rights and lawful interests of employees (workers). Directions of trade unions must be reviewed within the ten days, by participating representatives of corresponding trade union.


Article 14. Rights of trade unions to represent and protect their members


Trade unions have the rights to represent and to protect their members in the state institutions and of her organisations in the field of labour relations, adjustment of damages harmed to health, dwelling space and other social and economic interests, in the settling of individual and collective disputes, as well as to address the court for protection rights and interests of their members.


Article 15. Guaranties for the trade union members


It is not allowed to terminate the labor agreement, signed with the member of the trade union, by the initiative of the employer without preceding consent of the trade union, except cases, when the labor discipline and the labor contract rules are violated.


Article 16. Additional guaranties for the elected employees of trade unions


It is not allowed to inflict disciplinary penalty on the elected employee of the trade union of each level, without discussing this issue in the meeting of administration and trade union.

Workers and employees who have dismissed in connection with their election to the posts in the organizations of trade unions, after termination of their authority on the elected post, have the rights on previous work (post) or with their consent r on other equal work (post). If it is impossible, guaranties and compensations must be guaranteed to them, anticipated in the law for the case of dismissal on grounds of redundancy.

Elected employees of trade unions, who have not dismissed from their principal work, may be granted the rights in accordance with collective agreement to execute the social obligations for the collective interests during the working time, as well as to take part in the trade unions training undertakings, by preserving the average earnings.


Article 17. Liability of officials


Officials, who are guilty in the violation of trade unions rights, as well as in non-performance of their lawful requirements, are responsible in disciplinary, administrative or material way in the procedure, stipulated by law, but in the cases of hindering of their lawful activity they are responsible in criminal way.



Chapter V
Participation of trade unions in the setting up disagreements and disputes in labour, social and economic issues


Article 18. Labour disputes, which must be settled together with the employer


Trade unions together with representatives of the employer settle individual and collective labor disputes.

If during the viewing the individual labor dispute, the agreement is not reached, they are tried by court.


Article 19. Setting the disagreements between the trade union and employer, the state and commercial administration institutions


Disagreements, which arise between the collegiate institutions of trade unions and the employer on determination or changing the labor conditions, as well as on social and economic issues, are reviewed by the supreme institutions of corresponding trade unions and commercial administration within the ten days, by participation of the representatives of employer and trade union.

Disagreements, which cannot be settled by the supreme institutions of corresponding trade unions and commercial administration (or these institutions are not established), as well as disagreements between trade unions and the state institutions on labor and other social and economic issues are tried by court.


Article 20. Rights of trade unions to announce strikes


Trade unions have the rights to announce strikes in the procedure stipulated by law.



Chapter VI
Property of trade unions, commercial and financial activity



Article 21. Objects of property


Property of trade unions is formed from the entrance fees and members dues, from the revenues of enterprises and institutions of trade union, as well as from donations and presents and other money resources.

Property of trade unions may include its enterprises, publishing houses, printing houses, medicine, holiday, education, culture, sport, children and other institutions, including buildings and equipment, and other property corresponding to assignments and purposes of trade unions.


Article 22. Financial and commercial activity


Trade unions have the rights to found enterprises, culture, education, medicine, sport and other institutions, named in Article 21 of this Law, to take part in founding and activity of the joint ventures, as well as the foreign enterprises and associations, to grant loans, to organize lotteries and charity activities, to insure its members, to develop other commercial and financial activity in accordance with their assignments and purposes and the Republic of Latvia laws.



Chapter VII
Termination of trade unions activity


Article 23. Termination of activity


The trade union terminates its activity in accordance with the decision of supreme institution of trade union.

If the trade union terminates its activity, procedures for utilization of its property are stipulated by the statutes of trade unions corresponding to the Republic of Latvia laws.


Chairman, Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia
A.Gorbunovs

Secretary, Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia
I.Daudiss


Translation (C) by the Latvia Law Institute. All rights reserved. Other translation of Latvian laws available. E-mail: latjurinst@parks.lv