Having Issues At Work

Your job should provide you with a fair wage, safe environment, and benefits for you and your family. You should feel respected and that your voice is heard in the workplace no matter what position you’re in. Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly less common in Canada. Workers are finding themselves in jobs where wages are low, benefits and pension plans are non-existent and and they are seen as a number, rather than valued employees. When employers know they hold the power, they won’t make any changes to address an unfair workplace. Whether you’re experiencing one or multiple issues, the bottom line is you’ve had enough.

Are You Protected?

If you don’t have a union then the answer is no. Through collective bargaining, unions ensure you’re paid a good wage, have job security, seniority and that your voice is heard and respected. Unions ensure you are safe both inside the workplace and outside, with the distribution of pension and benefits. If your employer violates any aspect of the collective agreement, you can be assured it will not be tolerated. You will have a grievance procedure process in place with a union to ensure that you’re never taken advantage of in the workplace. Without this, you are not protected.


Unions have been around for decades and yet many still don’t know what a union can do for them. A simple definition of a union is an association of workers that protect rights in the workplace, but it’s so much more than that. The labour movement not only protects your rights but fights for an overall better quality of life for all workers. Joining Teamsters Local 362 means you are part of a family that defends fair wages, protects your health and safety, makes sure you have a voice at work and wants to help better your work and home life.


Unions have been setting the bar for wages for members and non-members alike for decades. This is more important than ever with wage discrimination still happening across the country. The gender pay gap means women are often paid less than men for the same work and racialized and Indigenous workers still make less on average than non-racialized and non-Indigenous Canadians. Workers across Canada earn an average of $5.28/hour more than non-union workers. That adds up.


While there are laws in effect to protect your health and safety in the workplace, that doesn’t mean that employers follow them. Unions have your back if you want to refuse unsafe work or want changes in your workplace to make it safer. It isn’t just your physical safety we protect: Teamsters 362 has led the way when it comes to mental health protection in the workplace. Unions also offer health benefits to their members to make sure their health, and the health of their family, is covered inside and outside of the workplace.


There is almost nothing more important than having a voice that is heard in the workplace. You should be seen as a human being who deserves respect and not just another employee. Unions give you that voice and allow you to speak out against any discrimination, harassment or unfair treatment without fear of being punished or losing your job. This also includes recognizing your seniority and experience in the workplace.


When you join a union, you become a member of a family. Teamsters 362 is proud to be active members of our community who work to make life better inside and outside of the workplace through the activism of our members. You always know someone has your back whether it’s bargaining for better wages or taking part in a community initiative.


Work-life balance is crucial no matter what type of career you have. Your job should care about your well being at work, as well as at home. This is why unions ensure you have a good pension to take care of you and your family after years of hard work, and scholarships to help with your children’s education. We also make sure you have proper schedules that allow you to spend time outside of work with your friends and family.


You have thought about joining a union, but you probably still have some questions about them. That’s very common. You’re about to take a big step in improving your workplace and you will want to have all of the facts as you get started. If you don’t find the answer to your questions here, you can always contact one of our Teamsters 362 Business Agents who would be more than happy to answer. Here are some of the most common questions about unions.

If you aren’t familiar with labour unions, joining one can seem a little daunting at first. The truth is, joining is a very straightforward process. Once you and enough employees sign membership cards, the Labour Board will hold a hearing and then you vote. For a more detailed description of the process scroll down to Unionization Process.

If you and your coworkers want to join a union, the best place to start is by contacting a Teamsters 362 Business Agent. We can talk to you about the process and discuss the issues you’re facing in the workplace. Teamsters 362 will be with you every step of the way.

Absolutely not. Although the company will know how many employees have signed cards after the Labour Board reviews them, they will not be able to find out the exact names of who has signed them.

Yes, you can. Your boss and managers cannot stop you from talking about unions with your coworkers at your workplace. You cannot let talking about unionization or signing union cards impede your work. Overall, it’s usually best to leave the union talk to the breakroom or outside of the workplace.

Your collective agreement is for you the employee, so it will be driven by what you want to see in your workplace. Your bargaining committee and your union representatives will identify the priorities and negotiate on your behalf. Your collective agreement will include important items such as seniority, vacations, conflict resolution, wages, benefits and more.

No, and if they do, they are in big trouble. It’s completely illegal to fire, intimidate or threaten an employee if they are trying to unionize. In fact, if the Labour Board finds that employers have engaged in unfair practices, they will be able to grant certification of a union without the need for a vote.

Not at all. Strikes are always a last resort in labour disputes and we try to avoid them at all costs. As a member, you will never be forced into a strike. They are only taken if members vote to take it.

This is a good question. The answer is because your job is more than just your boss. Unions ensure no matter who is in a management position that your rights in the workplace are covered. It’s about your dignity in the workplace whether you like your boss or not.

Teamsters Local 362 is a non-profit organization that receives its funding from the dues we collect from members. Those dues go towards the cost of staff, arbitration, mediators and is also set aside for a strike fund in the event one is necessary. It’s helpful to think of the dues as a protection plan for your job. We also invest in community initiatives that make workplaces and our province better for all workers. Your dues will never be used to make contributions to any electoral campaigns or the private benefit of any individual union employee.

Unions ensure that a workplace is fair for every employee, and that means making sure hard workers are protected by a collective agreement. This agreement outlines what is expected of them and the employer, and if a member is slacking off or behaving inappropriately, they are not following the agreement and management should correct that behaviour. Part of a fair workplace is making sure everyone contributes what they’re supposed to, this makes sure everyone wins.

Union Myths

This is simply not true. If anything, unions give you more freedom. The freedom to know you can do your job safely, you can bring up issues without fear of repercussion and you can work free of harassment.

Unions are always trying to negotiate to create an agreement, not to go on strike. As a member, you will never be forced into a strike. Strikes are always a last resort and are only taken if members vote to take it

You always have a voice in the membership. With Shop Stewards, Business Agents, and regular meetings – members are always able to voice their concerns and have them addressed by the union.

You have every right to disagree with your union. Having a voice and taking part in your union is one of the most important aspects of the membership. We encourage all members to let a Shop Steward, Business Agent, or the Leadership know if they have any issues with a collective bargaining agreement or treatment in the workplace. You should never be afraid of losing your job.

Working with managers and the company to make sure employees are treated fairly and with respect is the goal of a union. The employer is part of the process of negotiation and creating and maintaining an amicable relationship with them is important.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is unions are needed now more than ever. With the rise in precarious work and the shrinking middle class, workers are seeing stagnant wages, the elimination of benefits and pensions and the rise of inequality. Unions have been raising the bar for workers for decades in wages, health and safety and benefits.

The process of unionizing is completely democratic and everyone can make the decision for themselves. No one is ever forced to sign a card and labour laws across the country make sure of that.

A union is there to make sure a workplace is fair, and that means making sure hard workers are protected by a collective agreement that outlines what is expected of them and the employer. Part of a fair workplace is making sure everyone contributes what they’re supposed to, this makes sure everyone wins.

Unions are representing your interests as a member and our negotiation process always reflects that. In negotiating with your employer we are always trying to get you the best deal that is possible because you work hard and deserve to be treated and compensated fairly.

Unionization usually strengthens the relationship and communication between managers and employees. With a union, your voice is amplified and you will be able to have your voice and concerns heard by supervisors and management.

You are part of a movement that fights for the rights of all workers. Teamsters Local 362 has been dedicated to campaigns that support health, welfare and human rights, and as a bipartisan organization, we would never use your dues to back any political causes or candidates you don’t support.


The unionization process is known as organizing and you can do it with a Teamsters 362 Business Agent by your side. Deciding you want to create change in your workplace is a big decision, but the process to unionize is an exciting and powerful one. It may seem daunting at first but when you have Teamsters 362 to stand by you, the entire journey can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The most important thing to remember through organizing is that you have the law on your side to allow you to join a union democratically and free of any threats from employers. Here is the process to unionize.


To get the ball rolling in the unionization process, it’s best to start with a strong leader in the workplace who is willing to drive the movement. This advocate should engage with other coworkers to hear their views on unionizing and help to lead them towards a better workplace.


Once a leader has emerged, the immediate next step should be to contact a Teamsters 362 Business Agent through email or phone. Our business agents are here to help you through every single step of the process and answer any questions you might have along the way.


An organizing committee should be created next and should represent all departments, and reflect racial, ethnic and gender diversity. This will be the core group that develops and puts the organizing plan into effect with your Teamsters 362 Business Agent.


With representation from all departments and views, the committee can discuss the issues they are facing and the solutions they would like to see through unionization. It’s recommended that these meetings happen outside of the workplace.


Once the plan is in place and enough employees have shown interest, membership cards or a petition will be signed by employees outside of the workplace. This is completely confidential; your fellow coworkers and employer won’t know if you have signed one.


Once enough membership cards have been signed then Teamsters 362 will file an application with the Labour Relations Board with an application for certification.


The next step is a secret ballot vote by the Labour Relations Board, which is completely confidential. If between 40 and 65 per cent of employees sign cards in favour of a union, a board-conducted vote will be required. If over 65 per cent sign cards, no board-conducted vote will be required.


If the vote is successful the Labour Board will certify Teamsters 362 as your official representative and now the bargaining begins. Your collective agreement is for you the employee, so it will be driven by what you want to see in your workplace. Your bargaining committee and your union representatives will identify the priorities and negotiate on your behalf. Your collective agreement will include important items such as seniority, vacations, grievance procedures, wages, benefits and more.


When you decide to unionize you’re going to get a lot of questions from your coworkers and probably some promises from management. You need to be prepared for this as you enter into organizing. Here are some of the answers to a few of the most common questions and concerns you’re likely to encounter along the road to unionization.


As a non-profit organization, we receive funding from the dues we collect from members. It’s useful to think of it as paying into a security fund that safeguards you in the workplace. Your dues are calculated based on a simple calculation: 2.5 x hourly wage, plus $4.00. This dues structure has been prescribed by the constitution of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. They add up to about 1.5 per cent of your annual wage and are tax deductible. Those dues go towards the cost of staff, arbitration, mediators and is also set aside for a strike fund in the event one is necessary. We also invest in community initiatives that make workplaces and our province better for all workers. These dues come off your paycheque and are paid once a month.


Your employer may follow the law, but that isn’t enough. There are no laws in place to ensure seniority is respected, that there is no favouritism, you are paid what you deserve, and that you are rewarded for your hard work. Employers typically follow the bare minimum of standards, while Unions bargain above minimum labour standards, and make sure you’re completely protected and treated fairly in the workplace.


The process of forming a union is confidential. When you sign a membership card, neither your employer nor other employees will know you have signed one. The vote to unionize is also completely confidential. If your boss does somehow find out that you are wanting to unionize, there is no legal justification for them to fire you. Under the provincial labour code, your boss cannot fire you for joining or attempting to join a union.


With a union on your side your employer won’t just say that they ‘will do better’, they will actually have to. Employers make empty promises like this because they know they won’t be held accountable. With the power of a union behind you, you know they will be.