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How To Become Unionized

There are 3 basic steps to becoming unionized.

Step 1: Get Union Cards Signed

The first step is to sign a Union Card. In order to get to step 2, the Union must have at least 40% of those eligible to join sign a card. In practice, you want more than that in order to create a safety buffer. These cards are kept by the union at this stage, and the employer will not know that you have signed a card unless you tell them.

Step 2: Labour Board Vote

Once you have the required number of signed cards (or the number you determine above it), you apply for certification to the Ontario Labour Relations Board. At this point, the Union Cards are given to the Labour Board. However, the employer never sees the cards or is aware who signed them. The Labour Board will, at this stage, obtain a list of employees from the employer in order to verify that the union has valid cards. If the Board is satisfied the Union has the required number of cards, it will conduct a vote. If 50% plus 1 of those who vote, vote yes, then you are unionized.

Step 3: Bargain a Collective Agreement

Now that you are unionized, your first goal is to bargain a Collective Agreement (the document the union and the employer bargain and sign). A team, drawn from the members of the workplace (but with support of the Union), will bargain with the employer about all terms of employment. Once an Agreement is reached, members will vote about whether or not to accept it.