The formation of a union for salespersonnel in South Africa
Davis, Catharina Helena
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A representative body such as a trade union, workplace forum or an organisation that specifically handles disputes that may arise from unilateral decisions that are taken by employers in the billboard industry that affect the salespeople could, go a long way to improve the working conditions of these people. There is, however, no such an organisation that exists currently to protect workers in this industry. This poses the question whether salespeople in the industry would want to see the formation of such a union and whether or not they would join such a union. Another question that needs to be answered is whether adhering to the culture of the organisation and respecting the values and ethical behaviour of the organisation would prevent managers from making unilateral labour related decisions that affect salespeople negatively and eliminate the need for the formation of a trade union. To achieve this objective, exploratory research methods were used to learn more about the problem identified. Through interviews (qualitative research) with salespeople and managers in the billboard industry the attitudes of these groups were tested regarding the above objective. Findings and recommendations were that: Salespeople in the outdoor advertising industry believe that there is a need for the formation of a trade union for sales people; therefore, the formation of such a union should be further explored and considered. Salespeople also believe that regardless of ethical behaviour by their employers there is still a need for a trade union that could assist them in getting benefits such as medical aid benefits and pension fund. Sales managers in the industry however, believe that there is no need for the formation of a trade union for salespeople as long as they behave in an ethical and fair manner toward their sales staff.