Federal and Territories  -  Non-Construction
How to Cancel a Union Card


PLEASE NOTE: New Federal legislation that was passed into law on December 16, 2014 came into force June 16, 2015. New procedures were issued on June 17, 2015. Our review of the new procedures has revealed that there are a number of errors in the instructions and the forms. We will be contacting the CIRB to address these errors.

We will not be able to properly update our procedures and forms until further notice.


You are free to decide if you want a Union to represent you or not. The law says you should not be unlawfully forced to make this decision and that no one, including the union or its supporters, should try to influence your decision using unlawful threats, penalties, intimidation or even promises.

  • Whatever your decision, we recommend you express it using a union card.
  • If you support the union and want to be represented by it, sign a union card or by canceling any previously signed union card.
  • If you don't support the union, oppose it, or just don't want to be represented by it, don't sign a union card. If you now don’t want to be unionized but have signed a card then you need to cancel your card. It is usually a waste of time to try to get your card back so you need to cancel your card. Do this immediately.

To cancel your card, you must fax or courier a signed, dated document with your name clearly legible telling them that you wish to withdraw your Application for Membership. Also tell the union that you do not want the union to make an Application to unionize your job or workplace.

You should also send a copy at the same time to the Canada Industrial Relations Board so they have a copy. If your courier it, remember to keep a copy for yourself. As this document has to be received by the Labour Board before the union makes an application for certification to be effective. You must do it as soon as you realize that you do not wish to join the union.

Even if you do this for yourself, there may still be a vote. Voting "no" to being unionized is the only way to be sure that your changed position counts.

If you do not get your card back, or the union does not respond to your personal cancellation, you do not have to vote for the union - you can still be a "Member" and vote no - if a vote is held.

Always keep a copy of anything you sign.

Get the Forms

Individual Letter or Form

To cancel your union card, you need to inform the union. Send the union a letter or use a standard form. It should say that you no longer want to be a member of the union and don't want to be represented by it.

You can get a copy of this form along with a copy of these instructions in the Downloads section of our website or click here to view our Form for the Federal and Territories legal jurisdiction of Code.

Timing Your Cancellation

Don't put off canceling your card. If the union applies to be certified before you inform them, your decision to cancel your union card will not count.

If the union doesn't know you no longer support it, the union may use your name when applying for certification.

Deliver your forms

Since there are no rules about this, use any type of delivery you want to.

In our opinion, the best way to send your documents to the union is to fax them to the union offices - faxing is fast and the confirmation page proves the union received them.

However, our next choice would be to courier the documents. Other options are hand delivery and registered mail.

Updated: 2015-06-20
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