Your Right to a Union

Tricia Brown
/July 21, 2022

In response to the company letter to all employee’s

We always find it disappointing when employers try and convince workers not to join the Union, instead of actually addressing the concerns of their employees. They spend all of their time trying to mislead workers with untruths and manipulation. This re-enforces why you initially called the Union looking for support.

Unions give workers a voice and a true way to make improvements to their working conditions. We have spoken with many of you during the campaign for unionization at Kirchhoff Automotive and have continued to gain support. We’re excited that workers are growing supportive for the campaign as you move together united in your efforts to have real representation from Unifor. We had the opportunity to speak to many of you last week and hand out information that included access to our electronic union card, as well as a physical union card.


You have the right to form a union free of intimidation or undue influence. This means you can converse with Unifor organizers and ask any questions you may have. You can also speak with co-workers about joining Unifor during break periods, as well as before and after shifts.


TRICK # 1 UNION DUES: The company will tell you that the union just wants your money. They may mislead you about the amount of dues you will pay as a member of Unifor.

TRUTH: Union dues are the way workers pool their resources through a regular contribution to ensure the means to defend their collective interests. Union dues help to provide services to Unifor members including legal services, health and safety expertise, bargaining representation, training and education, pension and benefits experts, and much more. The improvements in pay, benefits, and fair treatment that you will gain by having a union, are far greater than the cost of dues.

Union dues are set at 1.35% of your gross monthly income, whether you work part-time or full-time. Bonuses, shift premiums and overtime are not included in this calculation and you do not pay dues when you are off on WSIB, leave of absence, maternity/parental leave, or sick leave. It is important to remember you will NOT pay dues until you have a collective agreement that you voted on. As well, union dues are tax deductible.

TRICK # 2 STARTING FROM SCRATCH: The company could tell you that when you negotiate a contract, you’ll lose the wages and benefits you already have. Although it is illegal, the company will insinuate you’ll be bargaining from scratch.

TRUTH: When you negotiate your first contract, you start with the pay and benefits you currently have and build on them. Section 86 of the Labour Relations Act, protects what’s commonly referred to as the freeze provision. The freeze provision ensures that the employer cannot alter workers’ terms and conditions during this period without your consent. You will decide what to ask for in your contract and then vote on it. Employers cannot take anything away because the employees are exercising their right to join a union.

TRICK # 3 A SECOND CHANCE: Your supervisor, manager or HR may come around asking for another chance to change the problems on the job. They may tell you that they were not aware of the problems and usually start treating you better and showing concern for your well-being. They may even suggest that you will receive special treatment and favours if you turn against the union.

TRUTH: When workers give the company a second chance, they are always bitterly disappointed. If the company wins, nothing usually changes and the promises and special treatment will end after voting day. Most workers who are tricked by the company find themselves treated just as poorly as if the union loses the vote.


Unifor’s organizers have made it easier than ever to join your workplace’s union drive with new online membership cards. All you need to do is sign electronically to show your support for the campaign.


If you or a co-worker has not had an opportunity to sign a Unifor membership card, you can do so by scanning this image. Use your smartphone’s camera, hover over the QR code and wait for the link to appear. Click it to access our online card signing page and complete the form.

You can also simply put this link in a web browser to go directly to the secure and confidential electronic union card: