Voluntary Recognition Agreements

The NLRA, or the Wagner Act, as it is sometimes called, protects the right of workers to concerted activities. At the time of the Wagner Act, the concerted activity involved employees who formed a group to question their wages, benefits or working conditions. In August 2011, the Employment Agency issued Corporate Memorandum 11-74 to address the issue of the impact of social media on the definition of collaborative activities. Concerted activities do not mean that the group must be represented by a union — employees who come together on their own are also engaged in concerted activities. Nevertheless, concerted action is fundamental to voluntary recognition, but it is only part of the equation. To obtain recognition, a union needs a vote in favour of the majority of the electorate and 40% of the electorate. The ACC must verify whether the initial unit is still in place and appropriate. If it finds that another bargaining unit is appropriate, it must effectively rethink the issue of recognition of the new unit. If the new unit includes workers covered by another statutory recognition agreement, the ACC must declare both plans for workers who overlap for collective agreement units and make arrangements for them. If the new unit overlaps with an existing voluntary recognition agreement, the legal provisions applicable to workers expire in the overlapping part, but voluntary agreements are maintained. Since companies that employ less than 21 employees (taking into account employees of related companies) are excluded from the legislation, the CAC will automatically reject any request for recognition in small businesses. Workers with associate employers who have been created outside the UK are only included if they generally work in the UK. There are special rules for commercial shipping.

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 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. 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.

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