Manitoba Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister’s pledge to make it much more difficult for workers to organize a union amounts to stacking the deck against workers. Requiring two separate votes—one through signing union cards and a second by secret ballot—has a negative effect on rates of union certification.
Pallister has said he’ll reverse provincial law by banning automatic certification, or card check as it’s commonly known. Under current Manitoba law, if a minimum of 65% of workers vote to join a union by signing a union card, then a union qualifies to be automatically certified as the official bargaining agent for the workplace. This can only happen after every signed union card is submitted to the Labor Board and a tripartite review (by worker and management representatives and an independent third party) checks every card, and ensures the law is followed. The proposed ban moves away from a fair and balanced approach to labor relations, which has led to a period of significant labor peace in Manitoba over the last decade and a half.