These rights can be acquired by minority unions by reaching the threshold, entering into the collective agreement with the employer and referring it to the CCMA in accordance with Section 21, where the Commissioner has the power to grant the rights or not. POPCRU questioned the collective agreement between DCS and SACOSWU, arguing in essence that it was illegal, given that DCS is bound by the threshold agreement not to grant organizational rights to minority trade. Unions. On 8 November 2001, POPCRU entered into a collective agreement with DCS, under which the threshold for admission to the DCS bargaining council for a registered single union or for two or more registered unions acting jointly was set at 9,000 members, or about 22.5% of the staff (threshold agreement). There are therefore three main avenues for a union to acquire organizing and bargaining rights. First, the sufficiently representative union can use the procedures established by the LRA to acquire the fundamental organisational rights provided for in Sections 12 to 16. The process for acquiring these rights is exposed in sections 21 and 22. However, they still do not have the right to negotiate. The LAC found that a Section 18 threshold agreement sets a minimum threshold for automatic rights acquisition and is not an obstacle for minority unions that do so through their own collective bargaining. Sacoswu, for its part, argued that a Section 20 collective agreement exceeded a collective agreement, such as Section 20, which states that “nothing” in that part of the LRA prevents a minority union from entering into a collective agreement with the employer.

Section 18, paragraph 1, states that “the employer and a registered union, of which the majority of employers are the majority of workers in the workplace, or the parties to a bargaining council, may enter into a collective agreement setting a tax threshold for one or more of the organizational rights covered in Sections 12, 13 and 15.” POCRU`s complaint to ConCourt follows a ruling by the Labour Court of Appeal in which it found that the DCS was authorized to enter into an agreement to grant organisational rights for Section 12 (access union at work), 13 (deduction of union dues or dues) and 15 (leave for union policy activities) from the LRA to the South African Correctional Services Workers` Union (SACOSWU). , a minority union. Employers and unions sometimes confuse the organizational rights conferred by the Labour Relations Act on the basis of the union`s level of representation and bargaining rights. The union may mistakenly think that it has the right to negotiate with the employer as soon as it has obtained majority status.