5 Helpful Tips for Starting a Workplace Union


If your workplace has never been represented by a trade union, you have much to learn about how they work.

When colleagues and co-workers come together, they have the power to make things better for everyone at the company. There are millions of union members in Canada from all walks of life and in thousands of different positions.

Unions build power for workers and advocate for economic justice, which is probably why you are considering starting a union in your workplace. To get started on your journey to unionize your workplace, there are a few things you need to know about.

Below are five helpful tips for starting a union at your company:

  1. Cost

When starting a union, you might be concerned about how much each of your co-workers will need to fork out from their pockets.

While there is an annual membership fee, it typically equates to only around two to three hours of pay each month.

For the company, on the other hand, the cost of unionization works out to around a 30% increase in operating costs and expenses.

  1. Risks

The only drawback to starting a union in your workplace should be the annual fee associated with the membership.

Most of the time, those fees are well offset by wage and benefits increases, but they are used to pay a union leader their salary. There should be no risks involved in starting a union.

While union members do not get a say in the allocation of those annual funds, you should trust the union leaders to make the best decisions for all.

Your employer might not like the fact that you want to start a union, but by law, they cannot respond to your request in a dismissive or combative way.

  1. Benefits

Trade unions use their collective power to bargain for better salaries, benefits, sick pay, and pensions – among other things.

Starting a union will help to hammer out those details and squeeze the best deal out of your employer so you do not have to. Many employees do not realize that joining a union is more than just fighting for people when the going gets tough, so your job is to educate them!

Learn more about how to start a union to improve working conditions and increase your workplace benefits.

  1. Listen To Your Co-Workers

Before starting a union, assess the needs of your co-workers.

Talk to your colleagues and listen to their issues. That will help to identify common problems, such as bullying or wage issues. You need to identify the most influential people on your team and rally them to join the cause.

Document everything you need to know about each employee, including the likelihood of them joining the union. Ask for a copy of the employee list at your company and work your way through each employee so you know where they stand.

  1. Be Patient

Change happens with time, and it is rarely overnight.

Having a workplace union affords you strength in numbers, but you must remain patient and wait for change. The power of a union is collective, so provided you stick together and stand up for each other, change will come.

To End

Do not be afraid to start a union, they are the marker for progress and change in a workplace. To enable evolution, one must celebrate revolution first.