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to Enact Union Laws in Canada
Although the Parliament of
Canada and provincial legislatures both have the power to enact labour
laws, provincial governments are primarily responsible for labour legislation.
Federal authority is limited
to the following industries:
- industries of an extra-provincial
or international character, such as railways, bus operations, trucking,
pipelines, ferries, tunnels, bridges, canals as well as shipping and
related services (e.g., longshoring);
- air transport, aircraft
- telecommunications, such
as radio and television broadcasting as well as telephone and cable
- works that have been declared
by Parliament to be for the general advantage of Canada or of two or
more provinces, such as grain elevators or uranium mining and processing;
- certain federal Crown corporations.
Human rights provisions, fair
employment practices, equal pay and anti-discrimination laws are all embodied
in the federal and provincial human rights legislation as well as in labour
legislation. Discrimination by race, religion, colour, creed, sex, age
or other factors is prohibited. All jurisdictions require employers to
pay men and women equally for the same work.
to Belong to a Union
Canadian employees are permitted
to join unions for the purpose of bargaining collectively with their employers
on issues concerning wage rates, fringe benefits and other working conditions.
Federal and provincial labour
relations acts and labour codes contain regulations with respect to collective
bargaining. Labour codes in all jurisdictions guarantee the right to representation
by a trade union following a certification process outlined in legislation.
The various jurisdictions administer their respective acts mainly through
labour relations boards, in addition to the respective agencies which
provide mediation and conciliation assistance to those parties involved
in labour disputes.
Relations Acts and Labour Relations Boards in Canada
Trade Unions Act
Columbia Labour Relations Board
Alberta Labour Relations Board
Manitoba Labour Board
Quebec Labour Board
and Industrial Relations
NB Industrial Relations
NS Labour Relations
Labour Relations Board
a Union or Certifying a Union (Using Manitoba Rules)
The Union submits an Application
for Certification to the Manitoba Labour Board. If, as at the date of
application, 40% or more of employees support the Union, the Board shall
order a vote in accordance with Section 48(2) of the Act.
If 65% or more sign a union card the Board will automatically certify
the bargaining unit.
If a vote is ordered and If
more than 50% of the votes are in favour of having a union, The Board
will certify the Union.
Employers' Rights -
It is an unfair labour practice for Employers to attempt to interfere
with the formation or selection of a Union. However, Employers or managers
are permitted to communicate statements of fact or opinions reasonably
held with respect to the Employers business. On the day of the vote, neither
the Union nor the Employer may, at the workplace or polling place distribute
printed material or engage in electioneering for the purposes of influencing
Once certified a Union
becomes the exclusive bargaining agent for all of the employees
in the bargaining unit whether they are members of the Union or not.
The Employer cannot settle wages and working conditions directly with
the employees. The employer is required to negotiate only with the Union
which has been certified and no other one. After certification a Union
can, by notice, compel an Employer to meet and bargain a collective
Rid of or Decertifying a Union
All provinces have laws setting
out provisions for employees to decertify unions. The Ontario government
has made it mandatory that employers post information for its employees
on how to decertify the union.
A copy of the Ontario government's
brochure on union decertification follows:
Ontario Government Brochure on Union Decertification (PDF) To
read this document you must have the Acrobat reader. (You can get a
free Acrobat reader by clicking on the icon below)
the Decertification Procedure for Ontario:
the DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION on
the form provided by the OLRB. The LRA and the
rules require that DECERTIFICATION APPLICATIONs
be made on proper forms provided by the OLRB.
only to the OLRB a list of names, in
alphabetical order, of employees who no longer wish
to be represented by the union. The information filed
as part of the DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION
must demonstrate that at least 40 per cent of the
employees in the bargaining unit no longer wish to
be represented by the union.
only to the OLRB the signatures of
these people and the date the signatures were
obtained accompanied with the name of the
employer and the name, address, telephone number
and facsimile ("Fax") number, if any, of a contact
person for the applicant.
only to the OLRB a declaration in the
required form verifying that the information relating
to the employees who no longer want union
representation is correct.
the employer and the senior union official
responsible for the bargaining unit with:
completed DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION
(excluding the information described in #2, #3 and
of Information Bulletins, forms and rules as
specified by the rules.
the OLRB with written verification that the
DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION has been
delivered as required.
Materials must be delivered
to the employer and union
by hand, priority courier or Fax. For a DECERTIFICATION
APPLICATION not in the construction industry, the
required material must be delivered to the employer
and union before or at the same time as the
DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION is filed with the
OLRB. For a DECERTIFICATION
APPLICATION in the
construction industry, the required material must be
delivered to the employer and union no later than 2
days after the DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION is
filed with the OLRB. Delivery to the union should be
made to the senior union official responsible for the
Seven copies of the DECERTIFICATION
APPLICATION must be filed with the OLRB. The
DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION, membership
evidence and evidence of employee's wishes
concerning representation may not be filed by Fax.
The OLRB deals with a DECERTIFICATION
APPLICATION in two stages:
OLRB decides, based on the evidence
filed with the DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION,
whether it appears that at least 40 per cent of
employees in the bargaining unit no longer wish to
be represented by the union. If so, the OLRB orders
a secret ballot vote of all bargaining unit employees,
normally held within five to seven days of the
DECERTIFICATION APPLICATION (not including
Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays).
If a vote
is ordered and more than 50 per cent
of the votes cast are in favour of decertification, the
OLRB will declare that the union no longer represents
the employees in the bargaining unit.