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U.S. Department of Labor Futurework
  Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century
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What Do Nonunions Do?
What Should We Do About Them?

by
Daphne Gottlieb Taras, University of Calgary and Bruce E. Kaufman, Georgia State University
Task Force Working Paper #WP14
Prepared for the May 25-26, 1999, conference
“Symposium on Changing Employment Relations and New Institutions of Representation”

September 1, 1999

Appendix 2

American and Canadian Labor Law Provisions with Regard to Definitions and Prohibitions

U.S. FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS ACTS

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Labor Relations Acts

Definitions

Prohibitions

National Labor Relations Act ( Wagner Act provisions in 1935)

Section 2(5). A labor organization is “any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work.”

Section 8(a)(2). It is an unfair labor practice for an employer “To dominate or interfere with the formation or administration of any labor organization or contribute financial or other support to it.”

Railway Labor Act of 1926

Section 1. “Representatives” means only persons or entities “designated either by a carrier or group of carriers or by its or their employees to act for it or them.”

Section 2(2). Representatives for both management and labor “shall be designated by the respective parties and without interference, influence, or coercion by either party over the designation of representatives of the other; and neither party shall in any way interfere with, influence, or coerce the other in its choice of representatives.”

Section 3(4). It shall be unlawful for any carrier to interfere in any way with the organization of its employees, or to use the funds of the carrier in maintaining or assisting or contributing to any labor organization, labor representative, or other agency of collective bargaining.

CANADIAN FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL ACTS

[Text Only]

Labor Relations Acts

Definitions

Prohibitions

Canada Labour Code Part 1. [RSC 1985, c. L-2]

Note: This Act covers employees working in federal undertakings, estimated to make up approximately 10% of working Canadians.

Section 3 (1) “Bargaining agent” means (a) a trade union that has been certified by the Board as the bargaining agent for the employees in a bargaining unit and the certification of which has not been revoked.

“Bargaining unit” means a unit (1) determined by the Board to be appropriate for collective bargaining or (b) to which a collective agreement applies.

“Trade union” means any organization of employees, or any branch or local thereof, the purposes of which include the regulation of relations between employers and employees.

Section 25(1) “Notwithstanding anything in this Part [the Labour Relations Code], where the Board is satisfied that a trade union is so dominated or influenced by an employer that the fitness of the trade union to represent employees of the employer for the purpose of collective bargaining is impaired, the Board shall not certify the trade union as the bargaining agent for any unit comprised of employees of the employer and any collective agreement between the trade union and the employer that applies to such employees shall be deemed not to be a collective agreement...”

Section 94. No employer or employer representative shall participate in or interfere with the formation or administration of a trade union or the representation of employees by a trade union, or contribute financial or other support to a trade union.

Alberta Labour Relations Code [RSA, 1988, Ch. L-1.2, as amended 1995]

Section 1 (b) “Bargaining agent” means a trade union that acts on behalf of employees in collective bargaining or as a party to a collective agreement with an employer or employers’ organization, whether or not the bargaining agent is a certified bargaining agent;

(x) “Trade union” means an organization of employees that has a written constitution, rules or by-laws and has as one of its objects the regulation of relations between employers and employees.

Section 36(1) Prohibited Practices. “A trade union shall not be certified as a bargaining agent if its administration, management or policy is, in the opinion of the Board, (a) dominated by an employer, or (b) influenced by an employer so that the trade union’s fitness to represent employees for the purposes of collective bargaining is impaired.”

Section 146(1) No employer or employers’ organization and no person acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization shall (a) participate in or interfere with (i) the formation or administration of a trade union, or (ii) the representation of employees by a trade union, or (b) contribute financial or other support to a trade union.

British Columbia Labour Relations Code [RSBC 1996, Chapter 244]

Section 1(l) “Bargaining agent” means (a) a trade union certified by the board as an agent to bargain collectively for an appropriate bargaining unit.

Section 1(l) “Trade union” means a local or Provincial organization or association of employees, or a local or Provincial branch of a national or international organization or association of employees in British Columbia, that has as one of its purposes the regulation in British Columbia of relations between employers and employees through collective bargaining, and includes an association or council of trade unions, but not an organization or association of employees that is dominated or influenced by an employer.

Section 6(1) Unfair Labour Practices. “An employer or person acting on behalf of an employer must not participate or interfere with the formation, selection or administration of a trade union or contribute financial or other support to it.”

Section 31. No employer-dominated association of employees shall be certified as a bargaining agent. An agreement between such an organization or association of employees and an employer shall not be considered as a collective agreement.

Manitoba Labour Relations Code

Section 1: A “union” is an organization of employees formed for purposes which include “the regulation of relations between employers and employees.”

Section 6(1). There is a strict prohibition against participation or interference by an employer or employers’ organization or person acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization in the formation or administration of a union or in the representation of employees by their certified bargaining agent. An employer is also prohibited from contributing financial or other support to a union.

Section 43. Certification is prohibited where the Board is satisfied that the administration, management, or policy of a union is dominated by an employer to the extent that its fitness to represent employees is impaired. Any collective agreement entered into by the union and the employer is deemed not to be an agreement for the purposes of the Act.

New Brunswick Industrial Relations Act, consolidated to June 30, 1997. CSNB, Ch. I-4.

Section 1(1). A “trade union” includes any organization of employees formed for purposes that include the regulation of relations between employers and employees, has a written constitution and by-laws which define the conditions under which persons may be admitted to membership, and includes a provincial, national or international union, but does not include an employer dominated organization.

Section 3 (1) No employer or employers’ organization shall participate in or interfere with the formation, selection, or administration of a trade union or council of trade unions or representation of employees in the union, or contribute financial support to a trade union or council of trade unions.

Section 18. The Board shall not certify a trade union if any employer or employers’ organization has participated in its formation, selection or administration or has contributed financial or other support to it.

Newfoundland Labour Relations Act

Section 2(1) A “trade union” or “union” means a local or provincial organization or association of employees, or a local or provincial branch of a national or international association of employees within the province that has as one of its purposes the regulation in the province of relations between employers and employees through collective bargaining but does not include an organization or association of employees or a council of trade unions that is employer influenced or dominated.

Section 23. The participation or interference with the selection, formation, or administration of a trade union by an employer or an employers’ organization is forbidden, as are financial contributions or other support.

Section 44. If the Board believes the administration, management, or policy of a trade union or council of trade unions is (a) influenced by the employer so that its fitness to represent employees in collective bargaining is impaired, or (b) dominated by an employer - such trade union or council of trade unions is not entitled to certification and any agreement entered into between the parties shall be held not to be a collective agreement for the purposes of the Act.

Nova Scotia Trade Union Act [RSNS ch. 475, amended 1994, c. 35]

A “trade union” or “union” means any organization of employees formed for purposes that include regulating relations between employers and employees which has a constitution and rules or by-laws setting forth its objects and purposes and defining the conditions under which persons may be admitted as members thereof and continued in membership.

Section 53 (1) No employer and no person acting on behalf of an employer shall (a) participate in or interfere with the formation or administration of a trade union or the representation of employees by a trade union; or (b) contribute financial or other support to a trade union.

Section 25(15) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no trade union, the administration or policy of which is, in the opinion of the Board, dominated or influenced by an employer, so that its fitness to represent employees for the purpose of collective bargaining is impaired or which discriminates against any person [on grounds prohibited by Human Rights legislation], shall be certified as the bargaining agent of the employees, nor shall an agreement entered into between that trade union and the employer be deemed to be a collective agreement.

Ontario Labour Relations Act

Section 1: A “trade union” includes a provincial, national or international organization as well as a certified council of trade unions.

Section 65: An employer is prohibited from participating in or interfering in the formation of, or representation of employees by, a trade union.

Section 13. The Board will not certify a union which has been financed or supported by the employer, or which has been organized or administered with the assistance of the employer, and will deny certification to any union which discriminates against any person on grounds prohibited by the Human Rights Code, 1981, or Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Prince Edward Island Labour Act

Section 7(1): A “trade union” or “union” means any organization of employees formed for purposes which include the regulation of relations and collective bargaining between employees and employers and includes a council of trade unions which have been vested with appropriate authority by any of its constituent unions to enable it to discharge the responsibilities of a bargaining agent.

Section 10(1)(b) An employer, or employers’ organization, or any person acting on their behalf is prohibited from participating in or interfering with the formation or administration of a trade union or contributing financial support to such a trade union.

Section 15. The Board shall not certify a trade union if an employer or employers’ organization participated in its formation or administration, or contributed financial support to it.

Quebec Labour Code (R.S.Q., c. C-27)

Section 1. An “Association of employees” is defined as a professional syndicate, a union, brotherhood or other group whose object is the promotion of the interests if its members, particularly in the negotiation and application of collective agreements.

NOTE: A 1969 amendment aimed at eliminating company unions removed voluntarily “recognized” associations from the Code’s protection. Only certified associations may make binding agreements.

Section 12: Employers are prohibited from interfering in any manner in the formation or activities of an association of employees.

Section 149: Where this prohibition has been violated, the Labour Court may order its dissolution after giving it an opportunity to be heard.

Section 29. If there is an allegation of employer interference in the formation or conduct of an employees association, the labour commissioner-general shall order the certification agent [delegated by the commissioner-general to investigate applications for certification] to suspend the investigation.

Saskatchewan: The Trade Union Act [RSS 1978, Chapter T-17]

Section 2 (e) “company dominated organization” means a labour organization, the formation or administration of which an employer or employer’s agent has dominated or interfered with or to which an employer or employer’s agent has contributed financial or other support, except as permitted by this Act.

Section 2 (j) “Labour organization” means an organization of employees, not necessarily employees of one employer, that has bargaining collectively among its purposes.

Section 2(l) “Trade union” means a labour organization that is not a company dominated organization.

Section 9: “The board may reject or dismiss any application made to it by an employee or employees where it is satisfied that the application is made in whole or in part on the advice of, or as a result of influence of or interference or intimidation by, the employer or employer’s agent.

Section 11(1) “It shall be an unfair labour practice for an employer, employer’s agent or any other person acting on behalf of the employer: (b) to discriminate or interfere with the formation or administration of any labour organization or contribute financial or other support to it...

(k) to bargain collectively with a company dominated organization...”

Public Service Staff Relations Act

[R.S., c. P-35, s. 1.]

Note: This Act covers employee relations in the federal Public Service of Canada

Section 2(1) “Employee organization” means any organization of employees the purposes of which include the regulation of relations between the employer and its employees for the purposes of this Act, and includes, unless the context otherwise requires, a council of employee organizations.

Section 8(1) No person who occupies a managerial or confidential position, whether or not the person is acting on behalf of the employer, shall participate in or interfere with the formation or administration of an employee organization or the representation of employees by such an organization.

Section 40 (1) The Board shall not certify as bargaining agent for a bargaining unit, any employee organization in the formation or administration of which there has been or is, in the opinion of the Board, participation by the employer or any person acting on behalf of the employer of a such a nature as to impair its fitness to represent the interests of employees in the bargaining unit.

Note: Prohibitions on employer domination in the third column are followed in most legislation by provisions which allow for certain exemptions, e.g. conferring with the employer is allowed, as are the provision of such items as transportation, employer contributions to pensions or welfare trust funds, and time off for employees to attend to union matters.

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