Forming a Union

How to Form a Union in Ontario

Step 1: Contact the IAM

Call or email the IAM and ask to speak with an organizer. He or she is a specialist in labour law and will answer all your questions. All contacts with our organizers are confidential and there is no obligation.

Step 2: Sign IAM Membership Cards

With the guidance of an organizer, you and your co-workers sign IAM membership cards. The employer never sees these cards. IAM organizers are sworn to protect confidentiality.

When at least 40% of the workers in a workplace sign IAM cards, the union can apply to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for a vote. The Labour Relations Board is the neutral government body that oversees the Ontario law that protects workers’ rights to a union

Step 3: Vote for the IAM

A vote is usually held in your workplace one week after the union applies. It is a secret ballot vote, conducted by the Labour Relations Board. No one will know how you vote. All employees can vote. It doesn’t matter if you are part-time or full-time – all votes count the same. If a majority vote for the union, the labour board can certify the IAM as your legal bargaining agent. From that point on, your employer must deal with the union on all your working conditions. If you have a problem at work, the union will represent you.

Now that you have a Union.

Your employer and IAM representatives (including workers from your bargaining unit) then sit down to negotiate a collective agreement. This agreement – the union contract – sets out the wages, benefits, working conditions, job security and other rights of the workers.

The IAM has experienced, professional negotiators who know your industry and what is realistic. We’ve been representing Canadian workers for over 100 years.

You and your co-workers have the final say on any collective agreement, once again, through a secret ballot vote. The IAM is a democratic union.

The IAM Will Protect Your Rights Under Ontario Labour Law

Most employers would rather not have their employees represented by a union. But the choice is not theirs. Under Ontario labour law, your employer cannot interfere with your decision to join a union. Employers can talk about the union generally but are forbidden from making any promises or threats, or to do anything that might prevent employees from making a free decision.

If your employer breaks the law, the IAM can take legal steps to enforce your rights.

What are you waiting for?

If you think you need a union, you probably do. The IAM is one of Canada’s largest and most respected unions. A better life for you and your co-workers is just a phone call or email away. Contact us today.