FAQ - Revocations


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Frequently Asked Questions


(How do I switch unions or get rid of a union?)

Employees may periodically choose to be represented by a different or no union. Employees interested in having no union represent them file a revocation application during an allowed window or "open period". If an employee-initiated revocation meets the Labour Relation Code’s requirements, the Labour Relations Board orders an employee vote on the matter. If the majority of employees voting choose not to be represented by that union, the Labour Board revokes the certification and the union no longer represents those employees. Employees interested in being represented by a different union typically have that union file a certification application during one of these "open periods."  Employers may also file revocation applications in limited circumstances. More information is available in Information Bulletin #13.


Q: I am currently represented by a union and we have a collective agreement. When is it possible for us to choose a different union or no union at all?

A: Employees may choose to revoke a union’s bargaining rights during an "open period". When a collective agreement is in effect and has a duration of two years or less, employees may apply during the last two months of the agreement. If the collective agreement runs for more than two years, employees may apply in the last two months of the agreement as well as in the 11th or 12th month of the 2nd or subsequent year (unless these months are less than 10 months before the end of the agreement). Employees may also apply for a revocation at any time after a collective agreement has expired but before a new one has been ratified.


Q: If we no longer want to be unionized, how do we get rid of the union?

A: If you no longer wish to be represented by a union, you may make a revocation application to the Board during one of the open periods outlined above. If this application is successful, the union’s bargaining rights will be revoked and the collective agreement will be cancelled. To revoke a union’s bargaining rights, you file an application and a petition of support with the Board. This petition must show that 40% or more of members in the bargaining unit support the revocation application. If the Board is satisfied the application meets the requirements of the Code, it normally holds an employee vote. If a majority of the employees voting choose to no longer be represented by the union, the Board revokes the union’s bargaining rights.


Q: Our collective agreement expired five months ago and our union has not been able to negotiate a new one. We want to have a union, but not this union. How do we go about getting another union?

A: Employees may choose a different union to represent them. In this case, they would ask a rival trade union to make a certification application to the Labour Relations Board. This process is often called a "raid." Raid applications are only allowed during the open periods outlined above. A raiding union must present evidence that it has the support of 40% or more of the employees in the bargaining unit. If the Board is satisfied the application meets the requirements of the Code, it normally holds an employee vote. If a majority of employees voting choose to be represented by the raiding union, the Board transfers the bargaining rights and collective agreement from the old union to the new one.


Q: Our union was just certified and hasn’t signed a collective agreement yet. We’ve changed our minds and don’t want a union. When can we file a revocation application?

A: Normally, employees may file a revocation application at any time if there is no collective agreement in place. The time after a union has been newly certified is different. No revocation application may be made until 10 months after a union has been certified. This provides a new union with a protected period during which to negotiate its first collective agreement. If the union has not managed to negotiate a collective agreement after these 10 months elapse, then a revocation application may be made. If the union signs a collective agreement before this period elapses, then a revocation application may only be made during one of the window periods outlined above.


Q:  My employer has asked some of us to file a revocation application to get rid of the union. Is this acceptable?

A: No. Employers may not participate in or interfere with the formation or administration of a trade union or the representation of employees by a trade union.


Q:   Can an employer file a revocation application?

A: An employer can file a revocation application if no collective bargaining has taken place for three years after (a) the expiry date of the last collective agreement or (b) a union won certification (if no collective agreement was entered into). The limited opportunity for an employer to file a revocation application reflects that union representation is a choice to be made by employees, not the employer. It is only reasonable to allow an employer to file for revocation if a union has abandoned its bargaining rights.


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