3 What is the legal framework for gaining union recognition? Are there other laws that affect organising?
UNION RECOGNITION 4 Unions sometimes allow legal frameworks to control our organising strategy. We need to understand our legal frameworks but not be limited by or trapped by them. Our benchmarks and plans should be set by our situation, not by the legislative framework.
UNION RECOGNITION 5 In India, a registered trade union of workers shall at all time continue to have not less than 10% or 100 of the workers, whichever is less… Once 10% of the workers join the union, what should we do? Register with the labour board with 10% of the workers affiliated. Increase worker involvement first and then register. WHY?
UNION RECOGNITION 6 In India, there are legal protections that give workers the right to organise: freedom of association and core labour standards. The laws are strong, but delays common. Which will best protect the workers? The legal right to organise. Increase worker involvement before we publicly confront the employer. WHY?
UNION RECOGNITION 7 In Argentina, the law protects workers who are elected as union delegates from termination. In a workforce of 400, the union would be allowed to elect 5 delegates. Which will best protect the workers? The legal protection provided to the elected worker delegates. Increase worker involvement before we publicly elect delegates. WHY?
UNION RECOGNITION 8 In much of English-speaking Africa, the law provides for recognition once the union has signed up 50% +1 (a simple majority) of the workers as union members. It can lose recognition if it falls below this minimum. Some unions want to sign up 75% before they seek recognition. WHY?
UNION RECOGNITION 9 Informal or precarious workers may not be covered by labour laws. Can we still organise workers if they are not covered by labour legislation? Are out benchmarks relevant? WHY?
UNION RECOGNITION 10 When workers face pressure, we will usually need a higher standard of worker involvement than the minimum the law allows.
UNION RECOGNITION 11 ACTIVITY: Benchmarks and union recognition Aim: To understand and analyse the laws and regulations relevant to organising workers. To be able to put organising strategy and benchmarks first and not allow the strategy to be limited by or trapped by legal frameworks. Tasks: Select a facilitator and timekeeper. Review the benchmarks we have set. Discuss which is the best option once we have met the minimum legal requirements for union recognition: A. Take the steps for union recognition. B. Increase worker participation first and then seek union recognition. Prepare to share your ideas with the large group.
UNION RECOGNITION 12 Anything else to discuss regarding union recognition?