This report is a contribution to the Changing Workplaces Review.
This research project reviews and evaluates the academic literature relating to obtaining and maintaining collective bargaining rights under the OLRA. Research indicates that procedural changes to representation processes including the mandatory representation vote significantly reduced the likelihood of certification, and that these effects were concentrated in more vulnerable units. This may partly be due to greater opportunity for delay and employer resistance under vote procedure compared to under card-based certification. The research also indicates that delay has significant effects on certification outcomes, as do ULP complaints and employer resistance tactics. ULPs have negative long-term effects, and are associated with difficulties in bargaining and early decertification. Research also suggests that employer resistance, including ULPs, is common and often intentional. Little research on decertification exists, but offers some indication that employer actions contribute to decertification, and that decertification is concentrated in smaller, low-skill, low bargaining power units.