About Recognition Agreement

September 8, 2021

If the union refers the case, the CCA will have to determine whether the union has sufficient support within the bargaining unit: the test is that at least 10% of the proposed bargaining unit is a member of the union and a majority of the proposed bargaining unit would likely be in favour of recognition. A petition can be considered as evidence. The COUNCIL must allow the parties to enter for 30 working days, plus an additional 20 working days with the active support of the Council. In the absence of an agreement, the ACC shall lay down a negotiated procedure. The Government has issued a standard procedure, but the ACC is not required to resume this procedure in all cases. The purpose of a recognition agreement is to allow the employer to strictly control the activities of the union and the delegates. Without such an agreement, delegates can revolt. That is, they can stir up trouble and waste valuable production time tackling union problems rather than making the money they are paid. Each party may request the COUNCIL to reconsider recognition if it considers that the changes in the bargaining unit mean that the original unit is no longer appropriate. The issues to consider are: There is a significant risk that this will become a charter for employers to manipulate changes in the bargaining unit, in the hope of withdrawing from legal recognition agreements. Similar provisions also exist when the employer asserts that the original bargaining unit no longer exists.

A union is successful in obtaining recognition in a workplace if it can prove to the employer or the CCMA that it is sufficiently represented among workers. The question is what is sufficient representation. There are special procedures in which an employer is voluntarily recognized. The employer is prevented from terminating the contract for a period of three years (unless otherwise provided in the agreement). The law provides for a similar procedure for defining the method of collective bargaining when the parties fail to reach an agreement and for defining a legally enforceable method of negotiation. This is an area that offers employers the greatest flexibility to meet the challenges. The government will continuously monitor this provision to ensure that it does not undermine the functioning of recognition procedures. If a collective agreement covers part or all of the unit of collective agreements under which a union (or union) is recognized, a claim from another union is not admissible.

The same applies where the existing recognition is not due to wages, hours or leave and the recognised trade union has only a weak affiliation to the tariff unit. However, if the existing recognized union does not have a certificate of independence and the agreement is 3 years old, the recognition agreement cannot stop a request from an independent union. The recognition process begins with the union making a written request for recognition and identifying the proposed bargaining unit. . . .

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