Frequently Asked Questions
How do we achieve unionization of our workplace?
The first step is signing a union membership card. Once Teamsters Local Union 879 has received union membership cards from a minimum of 40% of the workers of one company, the cards are forwarded to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board along with the Union’s application for certification. The employer never sees the union’s signed membership cards. The Board never discloses these cards or the identity of who signed them to the employer. This confidentiality is part of the law. There is a $5 fee, per signed card, for employees of Federally based Companies.
With employees of a Federally based company, in order for the union to be certified, 50% plus 1 of the employees must complete a membership card to join the union. If this is accomplished, the union will be certified. Employees of a Provincially based company will have a vote that will take place within 5 working days from the time the application is filed with the board. If 50% plus 1 of those employees vote yes to the Union at the polls then the Union will be certified. When the union is certified, the company is required by law to negotiate with the union about wages, benefits, and working conditions.
What will be in our contract?
This is done through a democratic process. Your negotiating committee is made up of workers and full-time union representatives. The union will hold a meeting and record input from all interested workers as to what they would like to see in their contract and the priority in which they value such items. Once the proposal document is drafted it can be used in negotiations with your Companies management.
Are Strikes Common?
No. A great majority of contracts (approximately 96% of them) are achieved through dispute-free negotiations. By law, employees must be given the opportunity to vote on whether to accept or reject what is negotiated at the bargaining table. If the members at a particular workplace are not willing to accept what has been negotiated, they can vote to strike. A strike vote raises the stakes in negotiations, and contracts are often settled after a strike vote but before any strike has begun.
What is a Local Union?
Local Unions are the backbone and vital force of Teamsters Canada. In fact, a Local Union is an autonomous entity governed by the Constitution and by its own regulations. It is comprised of officers (president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer, recording secretary, etc.), business agents, organizers, and staff members.
On account of the Local Union’s autonomy, its officers can make any decisions while considering the needs of the members.
What is a Member?
Members are the backbone of our union and without their will to progress, the union simply would not exist. Only members, in synergy with the other members, can advance the cause of employees in their working environment.
What is Teamsters Canada?
Teamsters Canada is a labour organization with over 125,000 members. It is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which has 1,500,000 members across North America. We represent several industries, including transport, retail, motion picture, brewery & soft drink, construction, dairy, warehousing, and more.