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Why should I belong to a union?

Many non-unionized workers will muster up the courage to face their employer on their own to try and defend their interests. But, frankly, it can be very difficult and even risky to act alone! Workers are better off joining forces. The best way is to become part of a union and negotiate a contract with the employer. The union is a tool available to workers to defend their interests and improve their working conditions.

Our economic system is often unforgiving. Businesses face competition and are mostly concerned with the bottom line. When circumstances warrant, employers will quickly downsize (cut jobs) before worrying about the workers. Nothing wrong with that, some might say. Perhaps not, but obviously workers will do all it takes to look after their own interests.

The right to unionize is enshrined in the Quebec Labour Code, which provides that no employer or persons acting for an employer shall “seek to dominate, hinder or finance the formation or the activities of any association of employees” (art. 12). It is also forbidden for an employer to use intimidation or threats to “induce anyone to become, refrain from becoming or cease to be a member of an association of employees or an employers’ association”. (Art. 13).

Both federal and provincial labour codes describe the procedure used to unionize and negotiate a collective agreement. Those codes rest on a basic principle: freedom of association.  


March 12, 2018 - 3:16pm •
Montreal, March 13, 2018 – The Tribunal administratif du travail (administrative labour tribunal) has recently certified the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC-Quebec) as the union representing the Research Centre of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (Douglas RC). Readers will recall that on December 22, PSAC-Quebec filed an application for certification to represent all Douglas RC employees.
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