By ALDWIN QUITASOL
Certification Election (CE) is a process by which all employees, included in an appropriate bargaining unit falling in same and similar category of work in a company or establishment, choose their sole and exclusive bargaining representative through a secret balloting.
Any legitimate labor organization can file a Petition for Certification Election (PCE) any time provided they met the requirements and categories in the issue of representation. Where there is a union, PCE can be filed 60 days before the lapse of existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) or until the day before the scheduled CE.
Any labor organization with a “pending” registration can be a party and join in the CE. If ever an unregistered labor organization win in the CE, it cannot be questioned or contested, because the mandatory requisites in a CE are to be directory only after the process.
“Subject to the provisions of this rule, any legitimate labor organization or any employer, when requested to bargain collectively and the status of the union is in doubt, may file a PCE. (Section 1 rule XI of the rules of implementing the Labor Code C.A. Azucena Vol. II.)
In such cases where a labor organization is allegedly supported or favored by management, in which the management commits direct interference on union matters violating the labor code, this is a “prejudicial question that needed to be solved first before joining the CE”.
Before filing or joining a CE, labor organization first have to collect 30% signature requirements from the actual number of employees falling to same job category or similarity. For example, a company employs 200 workers, the workers upon organizing a union decide to file a PCE. They should gather at least 60 signatures to solidify their PCE.
The 30% signature requirement, however, is not at all a material in granting such CE. This will be a material only in the issue whether it should be a mandatory or not in the pert of the Mediation-Arbiter to approved such PCE. Therefore, the med-arbiter can approve or disapprove a petition if the 30% signature requirement is not achieved. Once the requirement is acquired, it will be a mandatory for the med-arbiter to grant the petition for CE.
It is important that 30% of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit are interested in having a CE.
In a workplace where there are 500 employees belonging to a bargaining unit. During the freedom period, five legitimate labor organizations filed for a PCE. 30% signature requirement is 150 signatures. Each labor organization garnered the following number of signatures: Union A = 100; Union B = 100; Union C = 100; Union D = 100; Union E = 100.
Will there be a CE each of the 5 unions did not get the 30% signature requirement?
Yes, because more than 30% of the total number of employees in a bargaining unit showed their willingness to have a CE regardless of what union they belong to. # (next: The CE process)