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A bargaining unit is a group of employees found appropriate for representation by Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) and voted upon by employees who are represented by a labor union in their dealings with agency management. Bargaining unit status pertains solely to the positions employees hold within the agency. Employees are either in a bargaining unit (bargaining unit members) or are excluded based on the unit definition or stutory exclusion.
In a workplace, a secret ballot election may be held to determine whether the employees in an appropriate unit wish to be represented by a union "for the purpose of collective bargaining." If the labor organization wins the election, the FLRA issues a certification naming the labor organization as the exclusive representative. Then, the employer automatically accords the labor organization exclusive recognition. As the exclusive representative, the labor organization is entitled to bargain collectively for the employees in the unit. These employees now make up the bargaining unit.