“Our company has been non-union since its inception, but the other day one of our managers caught wind of a rumour that there had been some meetings between certain employees and representatives from a union. What steps can we take to attempt to minimize our risk of unionization?”
“This morning we received an application for certification. We know that there are short deadlines for acting, but we do not know how to respond.”
Some employers, particularly in the construction industry, benefit from having a unionized workforce because they are able to take advantage of jobs that are only available to union shops. However, most employers prefer the benefits that come with being union-free, including having greater control over the workplace and having the freedom and flexibility to efficiently manage the business.
It is not unusual for employers to avoid unionization through proper training, dedicated front-line managers and supervisors, and positive employee relations. Indeed, it is often in the employer’s interests to train their management team to appropriately react to early signs of unionizing activity so that root issues can be addressed at early stages. Managers and supervisors should be trained to know what can and cannot be said in order to avoid unnecessary certification or unfair labour practice complaints.
Our lawyers regularly provide seminars and advice to employers in respect to trade unions’ organizing campaigns. Plus, we help them develop strategies to continue to operate union-free, and understand the extent of their right to free speech while remaining compliant with labour relations statutes.
In addition, where applications for certification or unfair labour practice complaints are filed in the course of a union-organizing campaign, we assist employers in filing written responses and provide representation before provincial and federal labour boards and tribunals.