A form of voluntary recognition does not require representation of the majority of workers interested in union representation. In accordance with Section 8 (f) of the NLRA, employers in the construction industry can voluntarily recognize recruited workers. In this case, the employer and the union require an agreement, usually for a period of time, to conduct conventional negotiations. There are specific procedures for which an employer is recognized on a voluntary basis. The employer is prevented from terminating the contract for a period of three years (unless the contract provides for something else). The law provides for a similar procedure for determining the method of collective bargaining if the parties fail to agree and for the definition of a legally binding method of bargaining. If an employee is dissatisfied with her working conditions, she can go to a union to ask if the union will represent the workers in her workplace. An alternative is a union that takes the initiative to launch an organizing campaign. At this point, the union invites workers to sign access cards that indicate their interest in union representation. It`s a step toward recognition.
However, an access card does not require a worker to join the union and is therefore not always a means of voluntary recognition by the employer. The recognition process begins with the union submitting a written application for recognition and identifying the proposed bargaining unit. The bargaining unit is the workplace or group of workers that the union wishes to represent. The request can be made by two or more unions that act together, but unions must have certificates of independence. The request is addressed to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). The ACC will not consider the request if another union is already recognized for workers in the collective agreement unit. If you do not want to recognize the union and have more than 21 employees, you can apply for legal recognition from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC). If a collective agreement is formed for a part or the entire collective agreement unit that recognizes a union (or union), a request from another union is not admissible. This is also the case where the existing recognition does not cover wages, hours or public holidays and the recognised union has little adherence to the unity of collective agreements.
However, if the existing approved union does not have a certificate of independence and the agreement is three years old, the recognition agreement cannot stop an application from an independent union. The government introduced a significant portion of the legislation dealing with changes to the bargaining unit after legal recognition where collective agreements were concluded by the parties or established by the ACC. An employer may choose to voluntarily recognize the union if the union shows clear and convincing evidence that an overwhelming majority of workers want union representation. Voluntary recognition is done without an election — the employer essentially renounces voting and accepts the union`s proof that the employees want the union to represent them. Nevertheless, the employer should have confidence in its willingness to recognize the union as a worker`s representative. Once the employer makes voluntary recognition, there is no turning back. After the employer has informed the Works Council and the union that it wants to voluntarily recognize the union, the Works Council certifies that the union is a representative of the employees. The employer is then required to negotiate in good faith with the union, as if an election were being held.
The ACC must provide 30 working days to the parties to reach an agreement, plus an additional 20 business days with the active support of the ACC. If there is no agreement, the CAC establishes a negotiated procedure. The government has issued a standard procedure, but the CAC is not required to apply this procedure in all cases. Voluntary recognition is made when an employer recognizes a union as a staff representative.