Your right to organize is protected by law. Understanding these laws is a critical first step to securing that right. By joining together with your co-workers, you will be more effective in getting your employer to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. These workplace improvements are achieved through Collective Bargaining, which results in a legally-binding Collective Agreement between the Union and your Company.
What Are My Legal Rights?
Provincial and federal labour laws ensure:
- Ensure you have the right to join and organize a Union.
- Protect you if your employer tries to stop you from joining.
- Gives your Union legal status.
- Require your employer to negotiate a Collective Agreement with your Union.
Your right to join a Union is guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In most BC workplaces, this right is protected by the Labour Relations Code. The legal agency that administers these laws is called the Labour Relations Board. Some sectors of the economy, such as air transport, are under Federal Labour Law.
Thinking about forming a Union at your workplace? You should be aware of the basic steps of the legal process. If you organize with the Machinists, we will ensure the correct process is followed, to prevent the employer from successfully challenging your legal right to join a union. The Machinists Union has the expertise and resources to make sure any legal obstacles your employer may put in your way is swept aside.
What Does The Labour Code Say About “Unfair Labour Practices”?
- Employers changing working conditions or pay during an organizing campaign.
- Management threats about job loss, layoffs, loss of benefits because of union.
- Leaflets from anti-union employees if they have been copied on machines at work.
- Anti-union employees holding meetings at work.
- Reassigning union supporters to less desirable shift/work area without cause or business reason.
- Laying off, transferring, or firing Union supporters without business justification.
- Management calling union supporters in for interviews.
- Management intimidating workers by saying she/he knows who has signed cards.
- Anti-union “revocation” cards circulating during work time.
- Management posting or circulating threatening, intimidating or coercive letters or leaflets.
What Will My Employer Say About Unions?
You join a Union to make your jobs better but your employer will often try to dissuade your fellow workers from joining. Not every employer uses exactly the same tricks to keep workers from joining the union. but there is a pattern that most employers follow. When workers organize, employers will often:
- Make empty threats and promises.
- Tell lies about the union
- Start rumours to discourage you from joining.
- Refuse to have open, honest debate so you can air the truth.
- When you start talking Union, the first thing your employer probably will do is try to confuse you by making you forget that You Are The Union.
- So if your employer claims that “the Union” will do terrible things, he’s really attacking you. He’s saying that you aren’t capable of making your own decisions and speaking for yourselves.
Becoming part of the IAM has paid off for our Members and we know it will for you.
We extend this invitation:
Join Us! For Your Job, Your Life and Your Family