Decertifying - What's at risk?
By now, most of you have heard about the small group of your co-workers who believe that it is a good decision to leave Unifor, and that could not be further from the truth. We have some real concerns about what that could mean to you and your family. Decertifying is a big decision that will impact your work life, and such a decision cannot be taken lightly.
If you vote to decertify, you will have no union or collective agreement
What happens after a decertification?
The truth is that decertifying from Unifor means that you no longer have a collective agreement. Your collective agreement is a contract between Unifor and your employer, and if you decertify, the contract is no longer in force.
Because you will no longer have a collective agreement after decertification, the employer will be under no obligation to live up to any of the provisions in your collective agreement. The minimum Employment Standards Act will govern your employment.
Seniority will not exist, hours of work could change, vacation bidding by seniority will not exist, and all grievances and scheduled arbitrations will disappear. Simply said, these provisions and more will be your employer's decision, and there will be no obligation to continue current practices.
Over the last few days, we have been talking to members and many of you were unaware that the application to decertify was served to Unifor and the Ontario Labour Relations Board, which is disappointing for us to hear. We have also heard that there are issues in the workplace that need to be addressed, issues that we believe together we can find solutions for. Decertifying is not the solution!
Unifor and GFL are currently in bargaining.
What will happen if we decertify?
The truth is that if the decertification effort is successful, this set of negotiations ends. All the proposals on the table will disappear; you will be left with no union, leaving you to negotiate your own working conditions with an employer that frankly no one trusts.
In this round of bargaining, your employer has already proposed some serious changes like removing vacation time, extending probation time, leaving at-fault accidents on your record for long periods, and so much more.
Not only do you risk the employer clawing back on some important issues, but we also know that the gains that need to be made in this set of bargaining are also at risk, like:
- Hourly wage increases that are on par with other GFL sites.
- Extra compensation when forced to work Saturday of a "Push Week."
- Paid sick days
- Emergency Pay during times of epidemics and natural disasters such as flooding
- Forced overtime
- The threat of potentially merging the 2 yards and eliminating any redundancy, loss of jobs and seniority rights.
Over the next few days, we will continue to engage all of you in addressing workplace issues. More and more of your co-workers are reaching out every day, and we have engaged in some good conversations about what is necessary to get us all back on track.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 519-322-9564 or [email protected]