Organizing FAQs

Why do I have to sign a petition/or Union card?

The Labour Board requires that each worker supporting the Union sign a petition or Union affiliation card that says, “In applying for a membership, I understand that the Union intends to apply to be certified as my exclusive bargaining agent.”

Will my employer or supervisor know that I signed a petition or Union card?

NO! Confidentiality is Local 1611’s top priority. The only people who will know you signed will be you, the Union representative, and the Labour Relations Board—and they are bound by law to conceal your identity. In order to protect all workers’ identities, card signing is not done on the jobsite.

When does my employer become certified?

A vote will be conducted either on site, or by secret mail ballot with supervision from the Labour Relations Board. The Union becomes certified to represent the workers if 50% + 1 of the workers vote in favour of the Union. The company is then legally bound to engage in collective bargaining where the Union is the representative of the employees. The goal is achieving a first Collective Agreement.

If my employer unionizes, will I lose any of my current benefits or will my wages be reduced?

No! Unions are in place to promote a fair wage, increase health and pension benefits, and improve working conditions. Local 1611’s goal is to represent workers and assist them in negotiating a collective agreement with increases to wages and health and pension benefits. This Collective Agreement then becomes a legally binding document that is recognized by the Labour Relations Board and enforceable to the employer.

Will I have to strike if the employer does not cooperate in the bargaining process?

No! Collective Agreements are negotiated to improve the standard of living for workers and their families. Not working means no paycheque! During the bargaining process, the Union will negotiate with the employer while the members continue to work. The goal of the Union is to work with the employer to achieve the best wage and benefit settlement possible. A strike means a loss of production for the employer and loss of wages for the member. Striking is strictly the last resort to any bargaining process and members would vote by secret ballot whether or not to strike.

How are Collective Agreements agreed upon?

After the Union bargaining committee and employer have agreed upon all terms and language within the Collective Agreement, the Agreement is then voted upon by the employees. If the agreement is ratified it will immediately go into effect. If it is not ratified, then the committee returns to the bargaining table with the employer to continue negotiations.