How can I form a union?

All workers in Canada have a fundamental legal right to join a union. If you and your fellow Team Members are ready to form a union, you would first get in touch privately with a Unifor organizer to discuss the issues at work. Team Members receive a digital or physical card to sign indicating that they are ready to form a union.

Ontario law requires a minimum 40% of Team Members must sign cards before Unifor can apply to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, a neutral government body, for certification. 

The labour board then conducts a vote. If the majority of those voting agree that they want a union (a majority measured by a vote result of at least ‘50% plus 1’), the board will certify the union as the employees' representative. This means that the company is legally obliged to recognize the union and bargain with its members. 

Step-by-Step Process:

Step 1. Signing your card

Toyota Team Members can sign either a physical or a virtual electronic card to join the union. The employer will never know if you have signed a card and the process is completely confidential.

Step 2. Filing for certification

Once enough Toyota Team Members have signed a card, Unifor can file an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to initiate a vote.

Step 3. Voting for your union

Team Members then vote by secret ballot to certify the union drive. Recently, due to COVID, these votes have been held online with a secure PIN provided to each person, making it easy to vote from anywhere. A simple majority of 50% plus one is needed to win the vote and certify the union.

Step 4. Bargaining your first contract

In Unifor, everyone is a part of the bargaining process. All Team Members are surveyed on your priorities first. Team Members then elect a bargaining committee to start the process of negotiating a first Collective Agreement with the Employer. The agreement generally includes everything from the duration of the contract to wages, health and safety, job security, workload, benefits and pensions, work scheduling and job bidding rules, grievances, holidays, and more. All Team Members then vote on the agreement. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, voting can be done securely online. Once voted on, the agreement is ratified; the employer is legally bound to the terms of the agreement as decided on by Team Members.

No one pays any union dues until this contract is ratified.

Step 5. Electing your union representatives

As members of Unifor, Team Members are assigned to a local union and can begin the process of electing your union representatives from your workplace. Your newly elected union representatives will get to work immediately and have the support of your local union, Unifor national staff and resources at every step.

Note: For workplaces governed under The Canada Industrial Relations Board, a majority of Team Members must sign cards and pay a $5 fee.

We will work with you during the entire process. Unifor has experienced organizers that can go over the details with you. Contact a Unifor organizer today.