Prince Edward Island  -  Construction
Becoming Union Free
What Will Happen, If The Union Is Decertified?

Decertification basically means getting rid of a union. It happens when a majority of employees no longer support the union or don't want the union to represent them.

If a union is decertified, the legal nature of your relationship with your employer will be totally changed again. Without a union, there would be no collective bargaining, the current Collective Agreement would be cancelled, you would no longer have to pay union dues and you would no longer risk going on strike or being locked out.

In the place of collective bargaining, you and your coworkers would regain your rights to deal directly with your employer on an individual basis concerning pay, benefits, hours of work and other working conditions.

Sometimes other unions may push for decertification so that they can “raid” or take you over and become the union that represents you.

Updated: 2010-05-04
How Do I Decertify A Union?

See How To Decertify A Union.

Updated: 2011-06-20
Why Would a Labour Board Person Interview Employees During a Decertification?

Some, but not all Labour Boards in Canada send an official person to a workplace to interview employees after the Decertification Application is filed. Some Labour Boards send an official every time. They may interview some employees who the Board knows signed a decertification card and employees who did not sign a decertification card. They also ask the employer for their payroll records to go over who was employed on the date the Decertification Application was filed.

Over the years, some employees have reported back to LabourWatch about such interviews. Their reports on these meetings are varied.

Some Labour Board officials simply:

  • Ask you what job you do, how long you have been employed, your date of hire, etc.
  • Want to be sure that the employee really did sign the card. Therefore, some officials may have your signed card (or a copy) to show you to make sure you confirm that you really did sign it.
  • Ask you when and where you signed your card. Ask you who was around when you signed and who asked you to sign.
  • Ask if you have any questions or concerns about the decertification process.

Some Labour Board Officials have reportedly gone much further and asked employees:

  • Why they want the union decertified? They try to talk the employee into keeping the union!!
  • Is there is a lawyer involved? What are the costs of the lawyer? How are employees paying the lawyer?


  1. Trying to convince you to vote to keep the union (if there will be a decertification vote) and challenging your reasons for not wanting a union are completely INAPPROPRIATE conversations for a Labour Board official to have with you. You should report such actions to your employer, your decertification leaders or to the Labour Board.
  2. You have an important and absolute legal right to not want a union. If you want to tell the official why you want the union gone – go ahead. But know that you do not have to have specific reasons. Even if you do, your reasons are your private beliefs. You may simply say that you do not want to answer that question.
  3. Asking you, or any decertification card signer, anything about a lawyer that may be representing or assisting the Applicants and/or you and the associated costs of that lawyer is also completely inappropriate for a Labour Board official to ask about.
  4. If the Applicant employees do have a lawyer, their discussions with the lawyer and any costs arrangements with their lawyer are private, confidential and protected by an important legal rule known as: “lawyer-client privilege”.
  5. You are NOT required to answer these types of questions when asked them during a Labour Board’s visit to the workplace. The only rare exception is if you are in a Labour Board hearing and only under very specific circumstances authorized by a court that is above the Labour Board.
  6. The Official may keep asking questions in different ways to see if your answer changes or in an attempt to unsettle you. Be very careful of this type of tactic.
  7. Overall, if you feel the Labour Board Official’s questions or statements are improper – you should let them know.
  8. As stated above, you should report such actions to your employer, your decertification leaders or to the Labour Board.
  9. Some Labour Boards have forms they use with boxes they put ‘x’s’ or check-marks in. The Labour Board official might write out their version of your answers in the Comment section and ask you to sign the form after. You MUST read the form VERY CAREFULLY. If you do not agree with what the Labour Board official wrote down as their version of what you said, then require them to change it to be accurate to your words before you sign it.

Finally, you may want to inform the Labour Board Official that you will record the interview with your phone (if you have that capability). They may refuse to allow for a recorded interview. If they do, you should indicate to the Official that you will not participate in the interview. Employees have told us that Labour Board Officials did not use these tactics when they were being recorded!!

Updated: 2014-10-15
Informed Employees | Informed Choices
Federal or Province

In most cases you will select the province where you work.

However, select "Federal and Territories", if any of the following apply:

  • You live in Northwest Territories, Nunavut or Yukon.
  • You work as a federal civil servant anywhere in Canada.
  • You work in one of the following industries:
    • airports or air transportation
    • broadcasting - radio, television or cable television
    • telecommunications
    • banking
    • fisheries (but only if your business relates to the protection and preservation of fisheries as a natural resource)
    • shipping and navigation (including loading and unloading vessels)
    • grain handling
    • uranium mining and processing
    • certain federal crown agencies
  • You work in one of the following industries AND (a) your activities connect one province to another OR (b) extend beyond the limit of one province:
    • air transport
    • canals
    • ferries, tunnels and bridges
    • highway transport of good or passengers
    • railway transport of goods or passengers