If a union addresses an employer for organizational reasons, the parties must meet to enter into a collective agreement. If such a meeting does not result in an agreement, the union is required to refer the dispute to the CCMA. Once a recognition agreement has been reached, the parties should consider negotiating agreements on disciplinary and appeal procedures, health and safety issues and other similar issues. These agreements can then be attached to the recognition agreement. The purpose of a recognition agreement is to give the employer the ability to strictly control the activity of the union and business managers. Without such an agreement, the stewards of the shop can go wild. That is, they can get into trouble and waste valuable production time dealing with union issues instead of earning the money they are paid. If a union can prove that its members represent the majority of all workers in the workplace, the union has a final right to recognition. In other words, it is entitled to organizing rights under the LRA.
A union will successfully obtain recognition in the workplace if it can prove to the employer or the CCMA that it is sufficiently represented among the workers. The question is what is sufficient representation. This model agreement is published by the Minister as a guide within the meaning of Section 109 of the Industrial Relations Act, to direct employers, workers and their respective organizations. This agreement should be seen as a proposed discussion paper to help the parties conclude their own agreements and it can rightly depart from it. It should be tailored to the particular circumstances of the parties. It is therefore essential that employers be able to assess in advance whether the union concerned is sufficiently representative or not. Indeed, if the answer is “yes,” there is no point in refusing recognition. Shop Stewards have several union obligations that they can withdraw from their normal production work. These tasks include: Trade Union DelegatesSeknowing to the Office of Electoral RightsTime – from common labour relations Training MODEL OF RECONNAISSANCE: SECTION 109 OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT If a union does not have a majority, but only becomes “sufficiently” representative, it is only entitled to access to work, deduction of union dues and leave for union activities. The concept of “sufficiently representative union” is not defined by the LRA, leaving it to the CCMA arbitrators to decide whether the union is sufficiently representative or not.