Once you and your fellow employees have decided that a union can help you stand up for your rights as workers and improve your workplace, you’ve taken the first step in the process of forming a union.
Your right to organize or join a union is protected by legislation. In Alberta, the Labour Relations Code defines how to form a union and lays out the rules for union certification, bargaining, etc. The act clearly states “an employee has the right to be a member of a trade union and to participate in its lawful activities and to bargain collectively with the employee’s employer through a bargaining unit.”
Unfortunately, as with most labour laws in Alberta, there is often a big difference between what employers are allowed to do and what they actually do. With this in mind it is important to know your rights when it comes to organizing a union.
As a general rule, employers don’t like unions and will try to stop them from being organized – so workers should always use caution when researching, communicating with or organizing a union at their workplace.