Organize Your Workplace

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Organize Your Workplace

The Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba recognize workers’ rights to belong to a union and to organize their workplaces. Any employer who interferes with those rights commits an unfair labour practice. Refer to The Labour Relations Act of Manitoba for more
details.


Union Membership Rights

Every employee has the right:

  • To be a member of a union
  • To participate in the activities of a union
  • To participate in the organization of a union.

Unfair Labour Practices

  • Every person who interferes with the right of an employee or the right of an employer commits an unfair labour practice.
  • Every employer, employers' organization, or person who interferes with the formation, selection or administration of a union, or the representation of employees by a union that is the bargaining agent for the employees, or contributes financial or other support to a union, commits an unfair labour practice.
  • Every employer who refuses to employ a person, discharges him from employment, refuses to continue to employ him or discriminates against him in regard to employment for any of the following reasons commits an unfair labour practice.
    • Being a member of a union
    • Participating in union activities
    • Being involved in organizing a union
    • Making a complaint or filing an application under any Act of the Legislature or of Parliament
    • Testifying in a proceeding under any Act of the Legislature or of Parliament
    • Making a disclosure required of him in a proceeding under any Act of the Legislature or of Parliament
    • Participating in a proceeding under any Act of the Legislature or of Parliament
    • Exercising his rights under any Act of the Legislature or of Parliament.

Discrimination during organizational period

9 Every employer, and every person acting on behalf of an employer who, at a time when a union is seeking to be certified as the bargaining agent of a unit of employees of the employer or is attempting to enlist members from among employees of the employer, discharges or refuses to continue to employ, or refuses to re-employ, or lays off, or transfers, or suspends, or alters the status of, an employee who is a member of the union or who has applied for membership in the union, unless he satisfies the board that the decision to discharge, to refuse to continue to employ, to refuse to re-employ, to lay off, to transfer, to suspend or to alter the status of, the employee was not in any way affected by the employee's membership in the union or application for membership in the union, as the case may be, commits an unfair labour practice.

Restriction on change of conditions on application for certification

10(1) Where an application has been made to the board for certification of a bargaining agent for a unit of employees for an employer, if, before the application is granted, dismissed or withdrawn, the employer, without the consent of the board, and not in accordance with a collective agreement affecting those employees and in force and effect at the time, decreases or increases the rate of wages of any employee in the unit or alters any other term or condition of employment in effect at the time of the application, the employer commits an unfair labour practice.

Restriction on changes of conditions after certification

10(2) Where a union has been certified as the bargaining agent of a unit of employees of an employer, if

(a) during the period of 90 days after the date on which the union was certified as the bargaining agent of the unit, or any extension of that period granted by the board under subsection (3); and

(b) while the certification of the bargaining agent is in effect;

the employer, without the consent of the bargaining agent and not in accordance with a collective agreement affecting those employees and in force and effect at the time, decreases or increases the rate of wages of any employee in the unit, or alters any other term or condition of employment in effect at the time of the certification, the employer commits an unfair labour practice.

Remedies for unfair labour practice

31(4) Where the board finds that a party to a hearing under this section has committed an unfair labour practice it may, as it deems reasonable and appropriate and notwithstanding the provisions of any collective agreement,

(a) order a party which is an employer to reinstate in employment any employee whose employment has been terminated by reason of the unfair labour practice; or

(b) order any party which is an employer to employ any person who has been refused employment by reason of the unfair labour practice; or

(c) order any party which is a union to reinstate as a member of the union any person whose membership in the union has been terminated by reason of the unfair labour practice; or

(d) order the party to pay to any person referred to in clause (3)(b) an amount in compensation for the diminution of income or other employment benefits or other loss suffered by the person; or

(e) where the unfair labour practice interfered with the rights of any person under this Act but the person has not suffered any diminution of income or other employment benefits or other loss by reason of the unfair labour practice, order the party to pay to the person an amount not exceeding $2,000.; or

(f) where the unfair labour practice interfered with the rights of a union, employer or employers' organization under this Act, whether or not the union, employer or employers' organization has suffered any loss by reason of the unfair labour practice, order the party to pay to the union, employer or employers' organization an amount not exceeding $2,000.; or

(g) order the party to cease and desist any activity or operation which constitutes the unfair labour practice; or

(h) order the party to rectify any situation resulting from the unfair labour practice; or

(i) order the party to do, or refrain from doing, anything that is equitable to be done or refrained from in order to remedy any consequence of the unfair labour practice; or

(j) do two or more of the things set out in clauses (a) to (i).


Certification and Bargaining Rights

Right to apply for certification

34(1) A union seeking to be certified as the bargaining agent for employees in a proposed unit appropriate for collective bargaining may, subject to this Act and the regulations, apply to the board for certification as the bargaining agent for employees in the proposed unit.

Where application may be made at any time

34(2) Subject to subsection 35(3) and any regulation under clause 141(1)(d), where no collective agreement in respect of the employees in a unit is in force and no bargaining agent has been certified under this Act for employees in the unit, an application for certification as bargaining agent for the employees in the unit may be made at any time.

Determination of appropriate unit

39(1) Where a union applies to be certified as bargaining agent for the employees in a proposed unit and the board is satisfied upon a preliminary examination of the material filed and a review of other available facts that the matters stated in support of the application are substantially true, it shall determine whether the proposed unit in respect of which the application is made is appropriate for collective bargaining.

Certification, representation vote, or dismissal

40(1) Subject to this Part, when the board receives an application for certification and is satisfied that the employees were not subject to intimidation, fraud, coercion or threat and that their wishes for union representation were expressed freely as required by section 45, the board shall do the following when it receives an application for certification:

  1. If it is satisfied that, at the time the application was filed, 65% or more of the employees in the unit wished to have the union represent them as their bargaining agent, it shall certify the union as the bargaining agent for employees in the unit.
  2. If it is satisfied that, at the time the application was filed, at least 40% but fewer than 65% of the employees in the unit wished to have the union represent them as their bargaining agent, it shall conduct a vote among the employees in the unit in accordance with section 48.
  3. If it is satisfied that, at the time the application was filed, fewer than 40% of the employees in the unit wished to have the union represent them as their bargaining agent, it shall dismiss the application.

Wishes of employees

45(1) Evidence that an employee is a member of the union as at the date of the filing of an application for certification shall, subject to subsection (4), be conclusively deemed to be evidence of the employee's wish to have the union represent the employee as his or her bargaining agent as at that date.

Minimum membership requirements

45(2) A person is a member of a union for the purpose of an application by the union for certification if

(a) the person has joined the union within six months before the date on which the application for certification was made, by making application for membership in the union; or

(b) the person was, on the day six months before the day on which the application for certification was made, a member of the union; and prior to the date of the application for certification the person has not terminated his or her membership in the union by taking reasonable and unequivocal steps to do so, or the membership of the person has not been terminated or suspended by the union.

Information to be provided to employee

45(3.1) A union, or a person acting on behalf of a union, that solicits the support of an employee for an application for certification shall, at the time of the solicitation, provide the employee with information respecting the amount payable, or that is reasonably expected to be payable, by a member of the union for any initiation fees and regular membership dues.

Board not to disclose membership evidence

45(6) The records of a union relating to membership or any records which may disclose whether a person is or is not a member of a union produced in a proceeding before the board are for the exclusive use of the board and its representatives; and no person shall, except with the consent of the board, disclose any such records or be compelled to disclose whether a person is or is not a member of a union.

Votes

48(1) The board may, in any certification proceeding, for purposes of satisfying itself as to the wishes of employees in a unit or in a proposed unit or as to the wishes of professional employees practising a profession in a unit or a proposed unit, order that a vote or such votes as it deems advisable be taken among the employees or among the professional employees, as the case may be.

Procedure on votes

48(2) Where the board conducts or orders a vote under this Part, it shall

(a) describe the unit or proposed unit for the purposes of taking the vote and, where necessary, the professional employees in the unit or proposed unit practising each separate profession; and

(b) make such arrangements and give such directions as it considers necessary for the proper conduct of the vote, including the preparation of ballots, the method of casting and counting ballots, and the custody and sealing of ballot boxes.

Vote within seven days

48(3) A vote under subsection 40(1) shall be held within seven days after the day on which the application for certification is filed with the board.


Useful Definitions

Bargaining agent

A union certified to act on behalf of employees in collective bargaining, or any other union which, on behalf of employees of an employer, has entered into a collective agreement with an employer

Collective agreement

An agreement in writing between an employer (or an employers' organization) and a bargaining agent of the employees, containing terms and conditions of employment including rates of pay and hours of work.

Collective bargaining

The negotiation of a collective agreement or the renewal or revision of a collective agreement.

Employee

A person employed to do work, except anyone who performs management functions primarily or who is employed in a confidential capacity in matters relating to labour relations. These people are employed in a unique capacity that would make it unfair to include them in a unit for collective bargaining purposes.

Union

Any organization of employees formed for purposes which include the regulation of relations between employers and employees. This includes a duly organized group or federation of such organizations.

Unit

An employee or a group of employees. The expression "appropriate for collective bargaining", used with reference to a unit, means a unit that is appropriate for collective bargaining whether it is an employer unit, craft unit, technical unit, plant unit or any other unit.


If you have any questions about unfair labour practices or want to learn more about organizing your workplace under IBEW 2085, contact:

Russ Shewchuk
Business Manager/Financial Secretary
(204) 982-2082
rshewchuk@ibew2085.com

All inquiries will remain confidential.