Collective Agreement Legal Term

September 14, 2021 by eklose

Once the NLRB certifies a union as the exclusive negotiator, the union enjoys an irrefutable presumption of majority support for one year (River Dyeing & Finishing Corp. v. NLRB, 482 U.p. 27, 107 pp. Ct. 2225, 96 L. Ed. 2d 2d 22 [1987]). During that year, the employer may not refuse to negotiate with the union on the grounds that the union does not represent the majority of the workers. At the end of this year, the employer may rebut the presumption that the union represents the majority of workers, either by demonstrating that the union does not in fact enjoy a majority, or by having a good faith doubt based on sufficient objective evidence that the union has lost the majority (NLRB v.

Curtin Matheson Scientific, 494 U.P. 775, 110 p. Ct. 1542, 108 L. Ed. 2d 801 ,1990). In cases where the employer doubts that a union has majority support, the employer may “early withdraw” the union`s recognition by insisting on a collective agreement that will expire at the end of the certification year (Rock-Tenn Co. v. NLRB, 69 F.3d 803 [7th Cir. 1995]). Most collective agreements provide that disputes are not settled through recourse to the civil courts, but through an alternative private dispute resolution mechanism, mediation or arbitration, usually the latter. Similarly, a successor employer must not simply refuse recognition of the union for bargaining purposes.

Instead, the courts have asked employers to recognize the existing union if there is “substantial continuity” between the two employers (NLRB v. Burns Security Service, 406 U.S. 272, 92 at ct. 1571, 32 L. Ed. 2d 61 [1972]). In order to determine whether there is essential continuity, the courts will consider, among other things, whether both employers operate in the same enterprise, whether the workers of both employers essentially perform similar tasks, whether the customer base remains broadly the same, and whether the successor employer continues to use the same industrial or commercial processes as its predecessor (Frye v. Specialty Envelope, 10 F.3d 1221 [6 cir. 1993]). While a collective agreement is in force, it can only be amended by mutual voluntary agreement. A change in the duration of the contract must be approved by the labour agency.

Any condition of employment may be the subject of bargaining and may be dealt with in the collective agreement. For very large bargaining units, the collective agreement can be hundreds of pages long. However, in a typical production company or retail trade, collective agreements are more often about thirty pages long.

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