How to organize a union election

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This year many companies will hold their union elections. At Kuorum we have been helping companies such as Whirlpool, Oracle or Red Eléctrica to organize telematic union elections since 2013. And we know that these events can become complicated for the people in charge of organizing them, especially because of the strict deadlines and procedures. That's why we bring you the most important steps and tips based on our years of experience.

We will discuss the Spanish regulations for organizing union elections in companies with at least 6 workers, according to Royal Decree 1844/1994 and the Workers' Statute.

How to manage a call for union elections in your company

When organizing union elections, several significant moments must be taken into account. They begin with a previous process, in which the promotion and calling of the elections is carried out. Then the Electoral Table is constituted, which is in charge of practically the whole electoral process - voting schedule and post-voting process. Let's see them in parts.

Basic regulations for union elections:

Who can call a union election?

The most representative unions at state, regional or local level, those with a minimum of 10% of employee representatives, or simply the workers themselves by majority agreement. In general terms, the process may begin to be promoted 3 months before the date of registration and publication that is reflected in the minutes of the last elections.

Who can participate in the union vote?

Any employee with a permanent or temporary contract, with a minimum of 1 month of seniority in the company.

Who can apply?

Unions, coalitions of unions, or the workers themselves with the necessary endorsement. In fact, even if there were only one candidacy, the vote should be held.

Which representative body is elected?

In work centers with more than 50 employees, a works council will be elected. In work centers with between 6 and 49 employees, personnel delegates will be elected.

Procedure for calling elections in a private company

One month before the process begins, the promoters, unions, or the workers themselves, send the Election Promotion Agreement to the Public Registration Office (PRO) of the company's territory, and register in the same the official document called Pre-notice of union elections. The promoters must also notify the company by sending a copy of the Pre-notice 20 days before the election process. 7 working days later, the company informs the union representatives, and the workers in charge of being part of the Electoral Table, giving them access to the labor census.

The electoral process actually begins when the Electoral Table is constituted. This Table, a key part of the whole process, shall be formalized where and when indicated by the promoters in the model of the minutes.

What is the role of the polling station in a union election?

The polling station will be in charge of:

  • Create the election calendar.
  • To prepare and publish the electoral roll according to the data sent by the company, also defining the number of representatives to be elected.
  • Receive nominations, review their validity and publish them.

After publishing the candidacies, the campaign itself begins, which lasts 4 days, with a day of reflection. And on the sixth day the voting will take place, always on a working day.

At the end of the voting day, the Electoral Table counts the votes, attributes the results according to the regulations, announces them with the Official Tally and, of course, publishes the results; which must be presented at the OPR.

For its part, the RPO will publish a copy of the minutes and send them to the company, candidates, intervenors and unions that request them. The office will inform all unions of the time they have to challenge the results and, if there are no challenges, the union elections will be over with the official results.

You can learn much more with our webinar on union elections in times of pandemic.

What role does the company play in the union vote?

The company has the obligation to promote union elections, providing the necessary means to carry them out, such as the material for the call, electoral events? as well as, of course, giving the necessary time and means so that employees can vote.

Where should a company's union elections be held?

Although it may be thought that voting should always take place at workplaces, the regulations do not establish clear criteria to define the very concept of "workplace". Taking into account the boost given to teleworking, it would be impossible to call union elections if they could only be held in person. Moreover, online voting in these ballots has had judicial backing since 2015.

In fact, thanks to Kuorum's online voting software, many companies were able to hold their union elections normally during such critical times as the onset of the pandemic.

What can cause the annulment of the union election process?

The grounds on which the vote may be challenged are issues such as candidates not legitimate for election, any discrepancy between the minutes and the development of the process, or for example the number of representatives elected, and "serious defects" that could affect the guarantees of the whole process or alter the results.

Having the technological support of Kuorum will help you to carry out your voting in a secure, reliable and transparent way; preventing errors at key moments such as the counting of votes or the sending of personal data of employees to the polling station, thus avoiding unwanted challenges.

Request a no obligation demo and create your 2022 union election website in just 1 minute.

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