New rules for union certification now in effect in Manitoba

“Forcing workers to vote on union certification after they have already indicated their decision allows the employer time to obstruct their choice through intimidation and coercion.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

Winnipeg (21 Nov. 2016) — The Manitoba government has made it harder for Manitobans to join a union. Proposed amendments were passed on The Labour Relations Act, and the Labour Relations Amendment Act officially came into effect on November 10, 2016.

Newer rules will lead to more intimidation and coercion 

The new legislation means

  • the absolute elimination of automatic certification;
  • all labour certifications will be required to go to a vote once 40 per cent of workers sign a union card; 
  • a vote will be held within 7 days after the application is filed with the Manitoba Labour Board. Labour certification is granted once 50 per cent of workers, or more, vote in favour of being unionized.

“Forcing workers to vote on union certification after they have already indicated their decision allows the employer time to obstruct their choice through intimidation and coercion,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE).

Huge step back for workers 

“This only means that now there will be fewer workplaces with fair benefits and wages for Manitoba working families. It’s a huge step backwards for Manitoba’s labour movement, and I hope this does not foreshadow labour’s relationship with this government," said Gawronsky.

Earlier this fall, Gawronsky and several other labour leaders made presentations to a legislative standing committee in strong opposition to this new legislation.  

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE