The amendments to the Federal Labor Law published on May 1st 2019 establish new provisions relating to the execution, revision and registration of collective bargaining agreements, and to the formation, election procedures of leaders, administration and transparency of unions. We highlight the most important novelties in this informative note.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS
The personal, free, direct and secret vote of workers as a guarantee for the protection of the freedom of collective bargaining.
The amendments to the Federal Labor Law establish as a requirement for the validity of the execution of collective bargaining agreements that it is proven, in accordance with the procedures established by law, that the workers have effectively elected the union representing them in the negotiation and execution of such agreement, and that is has been verified that the workers know the content of the collective bargaining agreement, its potential revision or termination with the expression of their personal, free, direct and secret vote.
Authorities, unions and employers are ordered to ensure that the procedures for consulting workers are organized in such a way that they do not affect the work activities of the work centers.
Employer's obligation to enter into a collective bargaining agreement.
An employer who employs workers who are members of a trade union shall be obliged to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the trade union at its request. The union must previously have a Certificate of Representation issued by the Federal Center for Conciliation and Registration to request the execution of the collective bargaining agreement.
The Certificate of Representation ensures that the union represents at least 30% of the workers who will be governed by the collective bargaining agreement. If the employer refuses to sign the contract, the workers may exercise the right to strike. The Certificate of Representation must be accompanied to notice of intention to strike as an indispensable requirement for the notice to be processed.
The Certificate of Representation will be valid for six months from the date on which it is issued. In the event that a strike is triggered by the calling union, the validity of the Certificate will be extended until the end of the conflict, so that no other request shall be processed during its validity, nor shall any other union or unions be admitted as part of the procedure.
Unions will be legally prevented from requesting an employer to sign a collective bargaining agreement and exercise the right to strike if they do not previously obtain the Certificate of Representation from the Federal Conciliation and Registration Center.
In the event that several unions wish to request the initial signing of a collective bargaining agreement from an employer, the union that obtains the majority of the workers' votes during the process to obtain the Certificate of Representation will be the only one that has the right to request the execution and signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The union that obtains the majority must count at least 30% of the votes of the workers that will be governed by the collective bargaining agreement in order to be granted the Certificate of Representation.
The union that represents the majority will be the only one that has the right to sign, administer and request the revision of the collective bargaining agreement that governs the workplace. As in the Law prior to the decree, there may only be several collective bargaining agreements in a workplace when there is a union representing the majority of the workers in a specific workers' guild. The loss of the majority of the workers after a court ruling, after consulting the workers through personal, free and secret vote, results in loss of ownership of the collective labor contract.
Registration of Collective Bargaining Agreements
The collective bargaining agreement between the union and the employer must be registered with the Federal Conciliation and Registration Center. For the registration of an initial collective bargaining agreement, it will be necessary to submit the Certificate of Representation to the Federal Center for Conciliation and Registration in addition to the Collective Labor Agreement, which specifies its scope of application.
The Federal Center for Conciliation and Registration must decide on the registration of the collective bargaining agreement within thirty days of its presentation. In accordance with the foregoing, the collective bargaining agreements shall not take effect until the agreement is issued approving its registration by the Registration Authority.
Procedure for obtaining a Certificate of Representation.
In order to request the execution of the initial collective bargaining agreement, it shall be indispensable for the union to obtain from the Federal Center for Conciliation a Certificate of Representation, which shall be issued by prior consultation with the workers by means of a personal, free and secret vote.
The request to obtain the Certificate of Representation must be presented by one or several unions before the Federal Center for Conciliation and Registry. The request must be accompanied by a list accrediting that the applicant union...