international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Chile: Department of Labour reconsiders legal opinion on collective negotiation matters

On 12 June 2023, the Department of Labour (“DL”) issued the legal opinion addressing the possibility that an employee who disaffiliates from a union with which he/she has a collective bargaining agreement in force, may negotiate collectively in the union subsequently joined. The following aspects are meant to be noticed:

Under previous rulings, the DL has denied employees the right to negotiate collectively if they are subject to a collective bargaining agreement in force of a different union.

Under the new ruling such prohibition is not applicable.  Hence, the employee is perfectly able to join a collective union process under a new union affiliation.  This, considering that the DL considers it is not admissible to discriminate between employees who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement of other unions and those who are not. Indeed, the DL argues that both types of employees must enjoy the same rights (such as the right to participate in assemblies, the right to speak, the right to vote and, in general, the right to carry out all the acts inherent to the negotiation process).

Key action point

In its legal opinion of June 12th, 2023, the Department of Labour reconsidered previous opinion on the right of employees to negotiate collectively with a union other than the one that negotiated the collective bargaining agreement to which they are subject.