Why is Management opposed to Unions?
Without a Union, management has all the power and is able to make every decision on their own, without input from workers. With a union, workers have a united voice and are able to participate in the decisions that affect wages, benefits and working conditions. When workers are part of a union, management has to share power and decision-making, and this can often be hard for management to accept. In order to stop workers from forming a union, management will often try to intimidate, divide and confuse workers. Management usually hires high-priced lawyers that spread misinformation and try to divert workers’ attention from the job improvements that need to be made. Workers have learned that if they stay united and do not let management’s scare tactics distract them, then they will be successful in forming their union and winning job improvements.

Some employers will say almost anything to keep you from joining or forming a union. And with good reason: if you have a union, you have a voice in the decisions that affect you, your job, and your family. Your employer may try to tell you that unions cause everything from bad weather to economic destruction. But the truth is that labor unions are a vital part of any democracy. Over 4 million Canadians belong to a union, and is the only way many working people can exercise any control over their worklife.

What is a Union?
A union is an organization made up of working individuals who have joined forces for the purpose of maintaining, improving, and protecting the interests of workers.

What are the benefits of joining a Union?
The job of your union is to negotiate on your behalf for better wages and benefits through a legal and binding contract, then to enforce that contract and represent you when you encounter day-to-day problems with your employer. By joining together as a union, you and your co-workers have the collective strength to make sure you get decent contracts and fair treatment on the job. Your right to join or form a union is guaranteed by law under the Labour Relations Act.

Who runs the Union?
Your employer will try to convince you that “the union” is some group of outsiders, trying to come in and “disturb the family atmosphere” and dictate what goes on in the workplace. The truth is that YOU and your co-workers are the union – you elect your own workplace representatives and decide what you want your union to do by a democratic process.

How do I join the Union (IAM)?
The process of organizing can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. Many employers will resist any attempt their employees make to organize. It’s important to remember that it is your LEGAL RIGHT to join a union. The IAM Union Organizing Department can help you take the first step in becoming a union member. We have an experienced and motivated staff to lead you through your campaign. Click the “Join” tab at the top of the screen and fill out the form to get started.

Can I be Fired or Disciplined for Joining a Union?
No. People join unions to get more job security. We believe every worker as the right to join a union. The law is on your side. Without a union, you are only covered by the Employment Standards Act – the bare minimum. When you begin the process of forming a union you become protected by the much stronger Labour Relations Act – the law that protects Union members. You cannot be fired for joining a Union. Under the LRA you can only be fired for just cause.

Will Management Find Out?
Only if you tell them. Joining a Union is 100% confidential. Neither the IAM nor the Labour Board will ever tell your employer if you have signed a membership card.

How does the Union Work?
The IAM is a democratic organization run by its members.
You elect your workplace representatives.
You vote on issues of importance to you.
You vote on your contract.

Who can Join a Union?
As long as you don’t have the power to hire and fire at the workplace, you can probably join a Union.
Is my Employer Allowed to Close Down if We Choose to Join a Union?
No. It is illegal to close a workplace because a group of employees decide to join a Union. The choice to join a Union is yours, not your employer’s.

What is a Union Contract?
Without a contract, your employer can change policies and conditions of work whenever they feel like it. A negotiated Union contract protects the terms and conditions of your employment. Your rights under a Union contract cannot be altered at your employer’s whim. It is enforceable by representatives who work on your behalf with a grievance and arbitration procedure. It’s a contract! And it has teeth!

members’ legal rights, the IAM has gone to the US Supreme Court several times – and won!

Will Joining a Union Force our Employer out of Business?
This is a threat we hear from many employers and they give you no credit. You and your co-workers aren’t stupid people. You wouldn’t drive your employer out of business by making demands that cannot be met. You are joining the Union only to improve what you have and set in place a contract that gives you a voice in your working lives.

Common sense says that no Union is going to negotiate a Union contract that will cost its members their jobs. Employers often find that because of the Union contract which sets them apart from other non-union companies, that they are more attractive to workers seeking employment and have less turn over.

Does the union offer any other benefits or rewards?
Other than the above mentioned benefits of being in a union, the IAM is proud to offer our free college program. To find out more please go to https://freecollege.goiam.org/