Do your employees really want to be unionized?
In May 2015 the Ontario Labour Relations Act will be shortening the application window for union members in the construction industry who want to decertify their union… old news, I know. But, many construction industry certifications only succeeded because the union “ambushed” the workforce. If this was your company, do you know how they are feeling about it?
To clarify for anyone brought here by the headline, in Ontario a union can gain a certification if more than 55% of the workforce sign union cards as “support evidence”. Also, you may have 100 employees but if there are only 10 of them working on a given day, say a Sunday, that’s the denominator – 10, not 100. Yes, that means that in Ontario a construction company with 100 employees can be certified by 6 signatures. (Send me an email, I would be happy to clarify this if you need.)
By astute reckoning that means there are 90 employees working for our hypothetical construction company that never got the chance to vote. Ask yourself, what do those 90 employees think of the process? The more recent the certification, the more bitterness and anger those people have towards being forced into a union.
The questions my group is asking you are – Were your employees unionized with “ambush” tactics? Do they really want a union representing them? Do you even have any idea what they think of this?
You have until March of 2014 (three months from the date of writing this) before they can do anything about it so before you go charging out there asking dangerous questions your should find out what the rules say – give us a call.
As for the changes to the Act, it just means your employees only have two months in which to file their application, not three.
Campaign in the Cloud (Canada)
We are proud to finally be able to announce the re-branded Canadian version of Labor Relations Institute’s Campaign-in-a-Box. Earlier this year The Labour Group translated this hugely successful American program to suit our country’s labour laws. Now available for British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
This “translation” was of course much more than just changing “labor” to “labour”. It incorporated the involvement of a number of Canadian law firms as well as the expertise of a growing number of consultants of the Labour Group who are experienced in the specialized arena specific to each province’s labour laws.
Harris v. Quinn (United States)
In Canada if you are doing bargaining unit work, you pay dues. You can thank Canada’s Justice Ivan Rand for that bit of law from 1946 that Canada still hangs onto. The US Supreme Court today would not stand for that sort of tomfoolery.
Labour Relations Institute (Canada)
I am very pleased to announce our association with Labor Relations Institute (LRI) in the United States. LRI is the leading labour relations consulting firm in the US with over 10,000 union campaigns to their experience they have a 90% win rate with their program. On their website US clients can secure everything required to monitor their risk of unionization, build positive employee relations, train supervisors, and if necessary, run a winning campaign.
Our Canadian team has reworked LRI’s “Campaign In A Box” program to legally fit within a variety of Canadian labour jurisdictions. Vetted by a leading Canadian law firm with extensive experience in union avoidance, these programs have now become available for Canadian companies. Complimented by Canadian experts experienced with training employees and management, this program offers something never seen in Canada.
We have created an affordable, effective, legal training and communications program for use in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. This counter-campaign program is easily customized to fit into any unionization scenario. It is designed to help employers and employees navigate a union drive from first notice of union activity to conclusion. Our aim is to educate the stake holders, employees and management alike in a number of areas:
- Management’s commitment to employees with regard to unionization
- The stages of a union campaign – what can stake holders expect?
- Understanding card signing
- Unions as a business
- Collective Bargaining and Negotiations, how it works
- Voting – what would it look like?
The intent being to avoid unionization with a counter-campaign of education of the workforce and identification of issues that have given rise to the threat. We believe that if employees are aware of the facts about being a union member they are less likely to look to a union as a solution. Further, issues identified during the counter-campaign provide the operation with an opportunity to improve employee satisfaction and ultimately increase overall efficiencies.