Questions about getting an Ontario Labour Union in your workplace?

Everyone knows that workers are better off with a Union in their workplace, but most workers are unsure about how to organize a union into their workplace. Below you will find questions and answers to help you understand how to get the benefits of an Ontario Labour Union.

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Yes, it is your legal right to have a Union of your choosing.

Call or email Unifor Local 2003E today and we would be happy to talk to you about it. Basically the majority of your group needs to sign union membership cards, then we file an application with OntarioLabour Relations Board following which a vote will be held in your workplace. When the majority of those voting vote yes, you have a Union and bargaining with the company begins.

NO, the law is very clear on this; the company is never told who signs a card. Your privacy is very important to us. 

NO, the law says that they can not interfere with your right to have a Union in your workplace .

Almost anything can be bargained into a union collective agreement, pay raises, job protection, benefits, improved health and safety.

A union collective agreement is simply a book of rules that both the company and the union must abide by and if either break those rules an arbitrator (similar to a judge) has the power to punish the offender and fix it.

Ontario Union Rally

Other Questions about Unions?

1

Do Unions protect lazy incompetent employees?

No, thats a common myth. A Unions primary purpose with discipline is to ensure that all discipline that the company gives is fair. In a unionized environment, a company cannot simply fire someone without having adequate grounds and being able to prove its case that firing is justified. If an employee believes he or she has been treated unfairly, the employee has a right to union representation; if the union believes the company acted unfairly we will pursue it and get it corrected.

2

Why should I join a union if my boss is treating me OK?

For a lot of reasons. To start with, your boss today will not likely be your boss tomorrow. Without a union contract, you have no guarantee that your wages and working conditions will not be undercut by a new boss -- or for that matter, by a new owner. Collective agreements are like pensions, they grow substantially over time, the sooner you get in the better.

3

You mentioned a Collective Agreement or contract, what will be in our union contract? 

That depends on what the members want. The members at your workplace will determine their own priorities, and negotiations will reflect those priorities. Members have the right to ratify any settlement that is reached, by secret ballot vote. 

4

Are union strikes common?

No. The greatest majority of contracts are achieved through dispute-free negotiation. If the members at a particular workplace are not willing to accept an inferior settlement they can decide to take a strike vote. A strike vote raises the stakes in negotiations, and contracts are often settled after a strike vote but before a strike. No strike can occur without a majority vote by secret ballot.

5

Does the company have to bargain fairly with the Union?

Yes. Even hard-nosed companies must comply with the law. Ontario labour law requires a company to bargain in good faith with a union and to make all reasonable efforts to reach a contract. The Ontario Labour Relations Board is the group that enforces that. A company that bargains unreasonably is subject to binding arbitration by an independent adjudicator to settle a first union contract.

6

What does it cost to belong to Union?

I can't speak for all Unions but our dues are member set at approximately 1.67% of gross salary and are taken by payroll deduction, like CPP premiums. Union dues are not paid by new members until the union has bargained a collective agreement that your group is happy with. We work for free until we have an angreement that greatly improves your working conditions. Union dues are fully tax deductible and considering all of the benfits and increases over time in the bargainign process you are much, much further ahead.

7

Who makes the decisions in a Canadian Union?

Unions are run by its members, all members have a voice and a vote. Voting members at a Union convention elect officers to sit on the Executive Board and elections take place every two years. The executive run the Union and make the business decisions on financial and policy matters based on the Unions constitution created during the Local conventions.