By becoming part of the union, you’ll be making a fundamental change in how you relate to the people who employ you, and in how you build your career and personal future. It’s an important decision, and we’re confident that you won’t regret moving ahead with unionization.
Here are brief answers to some of the questions that may be on your mind as you think about your next step:
Don’t workers today have good legal protection without unions?
All workers are protected by the minimum employment standards, but only organized workers have the ability to formally negotiate their working conditions and benefits, and to set them out in an enforceable collective agreement.
Will my employer oppose an organizing drive?
Possibly, although probably not for the reasons they will say they do. Given the choice, most employers would simply prefer to deal with individual employees, rather than with an organized group that has increased bargaining power and legal protections.
Can’t an employer make life difficult when workers try to organize?
Strict laws are in place to prevent an employer from punishing employees or changing working conditions in response to a union organizing drive. If this happens in your workplace, IUOE organizers and lawyers can assist to make sure you get the benefit of the full protection of the law.
If I decide to sign a union membership application, what happens to it?
The card you sign becomes part of your application to represent you, which we submit to the provincial Labour Relations Board. It’s the way we demonstrate that you and your coworkers want to organize. Your employer will not be told who has signed cards, and the fact that you have signed one will be kept in complete confidence.
What has to happen for the organizing drive to succeed?
Forty-five per cent of the workers in a proposed bargaining unit need to sign membership applications, indicating they want to be represented by the IUOE. Within 10 days a secret ballot vote will be conducted by the Labour Relations Board. A majority vote will then certify the IUOE as the exclusive bargaining agent for the unit.
What happens once the union is certified?
Your bargaining unit will select its own leadership, and meetings will be held amongst all members to determine what priorities to pursue in the negotiations with your employer for your first collective agreement.
What will the relationship with my employer be like after there’s a union?
It should be better by ensuring more respect and equality. Unions create sound employer-employee relationships, frequently leading to more productive workplaces. Strikes and other conflicts are very rare in unionized work environments, and more than 98 per cent of collective agreements are resolved without any form of job action.