What is a labour union?
A labour union is a democratic organization of workers who have come together to make improvements at the workplace. With a seat at the table and through the increased bargaining power achieved by solidarity among workers.
We fight for
A Voice in the Workplace
In a non-union workplace, all the terms and conditions of employment (wages, benefits, hours of work etc.) are determined unilaterally by the employer and subject to change without input from workers. In a unionized workplace, workers and the employer negotiate the terms and conditions of work, which are then set out in a legally binding contract.
Better Wages and Benefits
Reports from Statistics Canada indicate that unionized workers earn significantly more than non-union workers. The same statistics show that unionized workers have better benefits, including sick leave, extended health and dental benefits, long term disability benefits, vacation time and pension plans. See chart for details.
Respect and Fair Treatment
In non-union workplaces, promotions, wages and other benefits are often determined by favouritism. In a unionized workplace, wage rates and benefits are negotiated for all workers equally. Job vacancies must be posted and the employer must consider applications equally with consideration given to seniority.
Safer and Healthier Workplaces
All too often, workers in non-union workplaces find it difficult to enforce their right to safe working conditions for fear of employer reprisals.
A union ensures workers are not punished for exercising their rights under the law. As a result, statistics show that unionized workplaces are much safer than non-union ones.
A union contract can strengthen job security considerably by restricting the contracting out of jobs, providing workers on lay-off with recall rights and by providing workers with protection from unjust disciplines and/or dismissal.
“Unionizing has turned my job into a career I’m proud of. I didn’t know how much I was missing out on until I started bargaining with the company. We now have more opportunities and better working conditions.”
Berezan Liquor Store
“Being part of a union allows me to not only fight for improvements for my co-workers and myself, but for future employees as well.”
Brewers Distributor Ltd., Port Coquitlam, BC