Ontario  -  Non-Construction
How to File a ULP Complaint


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 Ontario. If you have a problem with a Union's actions that your Employer cannot address with the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Union, you are expected to take it up with the Union or go to the OLRB on your own, or with a lawyer. Generally, Employees are discouraged from approaching their Employer regarding a Union's actions.

Similarly, Ontario Employers are discouraged from offering assistance to you if you have concerns with the Union's actions. While they may not, in most situations, pay legal fees of the Employees, there are, however, times that Unfair Labour Practices (ULP) against a Union could be raised by an Employer. These situations are unusual so please read Question 1 of our Ontario Unfair Labour Practices FAQs. In fact, print and read all nine of the ULP FAQs.

While there are many sections of the Ontario Labour Relations Act about Unfair Labour Practices, most relate to the relationship between Employers and the Union. We will only address 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 OLRB has a number forms specifically for Employees to file a ULP. LabourWatch has included all of them in this "How To Guide".

  • Form A33 - Application under Section 96 of the Ontario Labour Relations Act (Unfair Labour Practice)
  • Form A34 - Response to Application under Section 96 of the Ontario Labour Relations Act (Unfair Labour Practice)
  • Form C12 - Notice to Responding Party and/or Affected Party of Application under Section 96 of the Ontario Labour Relations Act (Unfair Labour Practice)

Given the difficulty the average Employee may have with any legislation such as the Ontario Labour Relations Act, completeing the Forms will require that you know which section of the Ontario Labour Relations Act you say has been violated. We have included the excerpts from the Ontario Labour Relations Act at the end of this document, combined with an excerpt which outlines the ULP filing procedure.

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

Complete the Forms

Form A33 is very well laid out, and contains considerable guidance within its text. We suggest that you print and review its contents before you proceed. You will be required to complete only the Form A33 and Form C12. The Form A34 is to be delivered blank to the Union.

You will be the "Applicant" and the Union will be the "Responding Party."

Be sure to complete the "Certificate of Delivery" at the end of Form A33. The OLRB considers this a separate form.

You have to deliver the originals to the OLRB, so when you make extra copies for the OLRB and the Union, be sure and keep copies of everything for your own records.

You will be required to state the section of the Ontario Labour Relations Act that you claim has been violated. You will find the complete list at the end of this document.

Each of these sections should be reviewed before completing your ULP complaint.

Timing the Filing of Your ULP Complaint

While the OLRB has no specific rules about how soon you have to file a ULP after the incident, they do have "discretion" to not hear your complaint, if you wait too long to file it. So, file it as soon as you can.

After you have delivered the copies of the Forms to the Union you must file the originals with the OLRB within five days of delivery.

Deliver Your Forms

To the Union:

You must deliver a completed copy of Forms A33 and C12 (Names and dates must be completed by you) and a blank Form A34. You can hand-deliver, fax, courier, or use regular mail. Be aware that if the complaint is in regard to Union conduct during a certification drive you have very little time.

To The board:

You must deliver to the OLRB one original and one copy of the Form A33 within five days of delivering it to the Union.

What Happens Next?

If the OLRB upholds a Complaint, it may order a remedy that is not aimed at punishing the party that committed a violation, but rather at putting the affected employees in the position they would have been in had the violation not occurred. The remedies could include compensation to the employee for lost pay, reinstatement of the employee, or revocation of disciplinary action taken. It could lead to the rejection of the Union's applcation for certification, or, an application will not be voted on because there are not enough legitimate cards for the Union to obtain a vote.

Updated: 2006-09-04
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