Bill C-4, an Act that restores procedures for certification (card check) to the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017.
The Bill amends the Code by adding a provision that states that the Canada Industrial Relations Board (“Board”) shall certify a trade union as the bargaining agent for a bargaining unit if the union applies for certification with proof that a majority of the bargaining unit have joined the union. In other words, a union can become certified as the bargaining agent, without a vote, by showing the Board that a majority of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit have expressed a desire to be members of the union.
Currently, a vote is required in all instances, no matter what percentage of the bargaining unit are members of the applicant union. A requirement that a vote be conducted in all instances often leads to significant delays – especially when the vote must be conducted online. This can in turn give an unscrupulous employer the chance to subtly or overtly attempt to dissuade it’s employees from exercising their democratic right to join a trade union.