Alberta  -  Construction
How to File a ULP Complaint

Introduction

At this time there is no "Employee Advisor or Ombudsman" funded by taxpayers or union dues to help you address concerns about a Union in Alberta. If you have a problem with a Union's actions, that your Employer cannot address with the Alberta Labour Relations Board and the Union, you are expected to take it up with the Union or go to the ALRB on your own, or with a lawyer. Generally, Employees are discouraged from approaching their Employer regarding a Union's actions.

In Alberta, if you provide your Employer with the necessary information, the Employer may file an unfair labour practice complaint based on the inappropriate behaviour. It may also be able to provide you with the name of a lawyer you can contact to assist you with your own application. These situations are unusual so please read Question #1 of our Alberta Unfair Labour Practices FAQs - in fact print and read all nine of the ULP FAQs.

While there are many sections of the Alberta Labour Relations Code about Unfair Labour Practices, most relate to the relationship between Employers and the Union. We will only be addressing those between Employees and the Union. The Union will provide significant help to Employees who want to file a ULP against the Employer and LabourWatch does not attempt to duplicate the excellent information and resources available to Employees from Unions.

Get the Forms

The ALRB has a form specifically for Employees to file a ULP. LabourWatch has included that form in this "How To Guide".

Given the difficulty the average Employee may have with any legislation such as the Alberta Labour Relations Code, completing the Form will require that you know which section of the Alberta Labour Relations Code you are saying has been violated. We have included the excerpts from the Code at the end of this document. The ALRB has an excellent section on Unfair Labour Practices on their website.

Our "How To Guide" is only meant to address situations where you believe a Union has violated the Alberta Labour Relations Code regarding a Union's conduct towards Employees it is trying to unionize or with unionized Employees the Union actually represents.

Complete the Forms

The first few sections of the form are easy, requiring primarily names, addresses, phone and fax numbers. If you feel that filing a ULP it is too complicated please contact one of the Employee Advisors in your area - see the Contacts section of our website. The form has limited space so attach extra pages if you need to.

You will be required to state the section of the Alberta Labour Relations Code that you claim has been violated, you will find a detailed list at the end of this document.

This section should be reviewed before completeing your ULP complaint.

Timing the Filing of Your ULP Complaint

The ALRB states that an Unfair Labour Practice Complaint should be filed no later than 90 days from "the date on which you knew, or in the opinion of the Labour Board ought to have known", of the incident(s) leading to the complaint. In an organizing campaign, file your ULP as soon as possible as it may affect the organizing campaign. Same in a decertification campaign.

If you are complaining about Union conduct and you file your ULP in time, the ALRB may refuse to consider the card as valid evidence of support for the Union. You should complain as quickly as possible; otherwise, it may be too late. Any objections to a Union's certification application must be provided at least a full day before the certification hearing

Deliver Your Forms

You must deliver the Forms to the ALRB. The Board's website offers a comprehensive, explanation of when and how to deliver your forms.

You can send your decertification documents (your application, the individual forms and a copy of the collective agreement) by fax, hand-delivery, courier or registered mail. But, the best way is to hand-deliver them or courier them.

Usually, we'd say fax your documents, but the rules say that if you fax your documents you still need to courier or hand-deliver the originals within 3 days.

What Happens Next?

The ALRB can order the Union to "cease & desist" its actions. It may also refuse to consider any membership evidence for a certification application that was obtained through coercion, intimidation, threats, promises, or undue influence. If there has already been a representation vote for certification or decertification, the ALRB can order a re-vote.

The ALRB site states specifically what possible remedies may be granted:

  • If the ALRB finds the complaint is justified, it may take whatever interim or final action it feels is necessary to rectify the breach of the Alberta Labour Relations Code complained about, including ordering that:
    • The practice be stopped
    • An employee suspended or discharged be reinstated and compensated
    • An employee be reinstated or admitted as a member of a trade union
    • An unfair disciplinary action or penalty be lifted, and compensation paid (Section 17)
  • In extreme cases, the ALRB may remedy an unfair labour practice by granting or revoking a registration or certification. However, any such order is subject to a vote by the affected employers or employees.
Updated: 2006-09-04
Advancing Employee Rights
Federal or Province
Caution

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