1. How Does the Contract Ratification Process Take Place?
2. Unions Have a Statutory Right to Ratification
3. The Importance of Huge Participation in Voting

The contract ratification process involves the use of a ratifying official. According to FAR 1.602-3, this official does not have to be a contracting officer. Instead, this person must simply have the power to enter into a commitment that is outlined in a contract. Ratification authority is usually delegated by the agency head of a contracting office.

It's important to understand that according to FAR 1.602-3, ratification procedures are not required by statute. When FAR was first issued, there was no section that covered ratification. Instead, each agency set forth its own procedures relating to ratification.

When it comes to complying with CICA, there are no compliance standards when an acquisition can be conducted according to simplified acquisition processes. For larger instances, ratification cannot take place unless CICA exception is obtained.

There's no denying that the wholesale and retail grocery industry is highly impacted by fierce competition among various companies. It is not uncommon to see employers threaten employees to reduce their wages or force them into substandard contracts in an attempt to save money and increase profit margins. This is also seen by outsourcing activities to nonunion facilities. In an attempt to save jobs, a coordinated effort among local unions is essential.

How Does the Contract Ratification Process Take Place?

In order to ratify a contract in the retail grocery distribution industry, the Warehouse Division Policy Committee enforces a policy that mandates a written proposal to be submitted to the Regional Warehouse Division Director. This proposal must be submitted in a manner that it allows the director plenty of time to review it. The settlement outlined in the proposal will be discussed with the locals involved. If it isn't, this is a good sign that the International Union Constitution will enforce consequences.

Once the director has viewed it and approved it, the proposal is then sent to the General Executive Board to be approved. In the retail grocery distribution industry, before any membership can be ratified of a contract settlement, the locals involved must submit their proposal, and if it is believed that the nature of the negotiations cannot be complied with, the Warehouse Division Director must be contacted. A meeting will then be set up to ensure the director and those impacted by the ratification can try to come up with an alternate settlement option.

It's important to understand the definition of ratification when trying to understand the contract ratification process. Ratification is used to approve an authorized commitment. The ratification itself must be conducted by someone with the authority to do so. An unauthorized commitment means that an agreement is being created, however, the binding of the agreement is being set forth by a person who didn't have the permission to do so; therefore, ratification is needed to make it binding.

Unions Have a Statutory Right to Ratification

According to current law, unions have a statutory right to carry out ratification processes. When a union exercises its right to perform a ratification, the union representatives themselves do not hold the power to make the agreement or ratification officially binding. More so, any agreements that are agreed upon are not tentative until they have gone through the contract ratification process.

It's important to note that even when there is an absence of a bilateral agreement, ratification can still be sought by a union. This only applies, however, if both of the following conditions are met:

  • The employer is notified of the ratification requirement
  • The union does not perform a waiver

The Importance of Huge Participation in Voting

It is absolutely vital that huge participation on behalf of the union takes place when voting, as the vote will determine the final outcome of the ratification process. It also shows the employer that the union members are willing to stand up for their right to have a process ratified. The improvements outlined in a tentative agreement will only go into effect if the members of the union come together and vote yes.

When the majority of the members vote yes, this guarantees that the new conditions of the agreement will be put into effect for a period of at least three years. If the majority of the voters vote no, the new contract will not go into effect, and new negotiations would then begin.

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