Labour Certification Rules
Certifications Must Be Open and Transparent
The interim report includes options that would allow workers to unionize simply by signing a union card. The need for a secret ballot vote would be removed, marking a substantial change from the existing process. We believe this diminishes employees’ rights and would prevent workers from having a real say about whether or not they wish to be part of a union.
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What's this about?

Certification based solely on membership cards removes the employee's right to vote on whether or not they choose a union. Secret ballot voting safeguards employees from external pressures and helps ensure their true opinion is represented. While a secret ballot vote is conducted in a neutral environment by the Labour Relations Board, the collection of signatures on union membership cards is controlled entirely by union leadership. For this reason, the federal government passed the Employees’ Voting Rights Act which mandates that a secret ballot be held in every case of an application for certification.

Many groups repeat a refrain that declining unionization rates in Ontario merit special rules for this province. This assertion is false. Ontario’s unionization rate has remained largely static since the secret ballot was first introduced in the mid-1990s (Statistics Canada, 2012). Further, it is important to note that over the last 20 years, there have only been a handful of instances where the outcome of the card-based certification vote was not reflected in the secret ballot.

We are calling upon the government to ensure transparency in the union certification process and maintain the Labour Relations Act requirement for a secret ballot when attempting to certify or decertify a union. We are also calling on the Labour Relations Act to be amended to require that the list of employees provided in response to a certification application not be used for any other purpose than for the present application for certification.

Our RecommendationS

Recommendation 1: Ensure transparency in the union certification process. Maintain the Labour relations act requirement for a secret ballot when attempting to certify or decertify a union.

Recommendation 2: The Labour Relations Act should be amended to require that the list of employees provided in response to a certification application not be used for any other purpose than for the present application for certification.

Take Action Now
Your voice will make a difference. Please write to the Government of Ontario today and let them know that you're concerned about the potential impact of changes to our labour and employment laws. Send the letter below, or, for, more impact, you can edit and personalize it with a specific recommendation about contract work, scheduling, sectoral bargaining, or any other issue that will impact your business.