How can I form a union?

All workers in Canada have a fundamental legal right to join a union. If you and some of your co-workers want to form a union, you would first meet privately with a Unifor organizer to discuss the issues at work. If the union drive is ready to begin with majority support from your coworkers, we will then begin signing union membership cards. These cards indicate that employees are interested in forming a union.

In Ontario, the law requires a minimum 40% of cards to be signed before we proceed to apply to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, a neutral government body, for certification.

The labour board then conducts a vote. If 50% plus one of those voting agree that they want a union, the board will certify the union as the employees' representative. This means that the company is legally obliged to recognize the union and bargain with it.

In Québec, a card check procedure is in place. Workers first need to sign a union card and pay 2$. The union then applies for certification to the provincial labour board (the Tribunal administratif du travail) and if it holds cards for the majority (50% plus one) of employees in a workplace, it receives its certification after a short review by a neutral agent designated by the board.

Every province has a different process to form a union. Contact an organizer today to learn the specific requirements in your province.