Prince Edward Island  -  Construction
How to File a ULP Complaint
Are There 'Illegal' Things A Union Or Employer Must Not Do?

Yes, Prince Edward Island labour law has rules that Unions, employers and employees must not break. When they do it is called an Unfair Labour Practice (ULP).

Unions may charge employers with Unfair Labour Practices during: Union organizing campaigns, decertification campaigns and their ongoing relationship (for example during bargaining). Similarly, employers may charge Unions with Unfair Labour Practices for certain things.

Some Union websites have good information about what employers might do in response to a Union organizing drive.

Employees who feel that the employer has done something wrong, will find that the Union will almost always file the Unfair Labour Practice complaint for you. There are a number of things that an employer may not do during certification or decertification drives. Many are obvious: threats, intimidation, coercion, penalties, or promises. There are less obvious things that employers are not allowed to do, like interfere with or control the administration of a Union. The Union will provide significant help to employees who want to become or remain Unionized and will usually provide an expert or a lawyer to go to the Prince Edward Island Labour Relations Board for you. The Union pays the legal fees.

Unions have excellent staff, lawyers and websites funded by forced Union dues from unionized employees. LabourWatch does not attempt to duplicate the excellent information and resources available from Unions. See our Links section for links to Union websites.

While employers can charge a Union with a ULP for certain things, we do not deal with how that works at LabourWatch either. Employers have more resources than employees to help them deal with Union actions.

While there is no express prohibition in the Prince Edward Island Labour Act, the PEILRB has said that an application to decertify (get rid of) the Union “must be free from any employer influence in all respects”. So, it is likely that the PEILRB would find it to be an ULP if the employer assists employees to pursue their concerns with Union actions during a decertification campaign.

If you have Employment Standards or Human Rights complaints about your employer, you can generally get some help from a government agency. At this time there is no “Employee Advisor or Ombudsman” funded by taxpayers or Union dues to help you address concerns about a Union. If you have a problem with a Union’s actions (that your employer cannot address with the PEILRB and the Union) you are expected to take it up with the Union or go to the PEILRB yourself, or with a lawyer. Generally, employees are discouraged from approaching their employer regarding their Union’s conduct. See What Things Might be an Unfair Labour Practice (ULP) by a Union?

Our mandate, in advancing employee rights, is to provide information and resources which: Unions do not provide, employers may not be able to provide and the PEILRB may choose not to provide. The challenge you face is proving that a Union is doing illegal things or committing unfair labour practices. Be prepared for the possibility that the PEILRB will allow Unions to do things to you that you might disagree with but may be lawful.

It is also generally true, that our labour laws and Labour Boards apply a different standard for what a Union may or may not do and what an employer may or may not do. Employees generally have the greatest free speech rights in comparison to Unions, and certainly greater than employers. In addition, while Unions can help pro-Union employees in many ways, employers can generally not assist Union-free oriented employees.

At LabourWatch we hope this website and our Section on filing Unfair Labour Practice Complaints against Unions will help you understand how to file an Unfair Labour Practice against a Union. If you want to speak with an expert please see the Contacts section of the website to find a lawyer who may be able to help you.

Updated: 2006-09-01

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

In Prince Edward Island, in some cases, generally during certification applications, if you provide the Employer with the necessary information, the Employer may file an Unfair Labour Practice Complaint based on the inappropriate behaviour; however in most cases the Employer cannot do so. 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 Prince Edward Island Unfair Labour Practices FAQs. In fact, print and read all nine of the ULP FAQs.

While there are sections of the Prince Edward Island Labour 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

First, when you join a Union you sign over your right to represent yourself to them, you abrogate your rights to represent yourself. So, when you want to file an application before the PEILRB you have to actually apply for the right to represent yourself. You apply for "Intervenor Status" using a Form 18.

Then you will file an Unfarir Labour Practice Complaint using a second Form called a Form 11. Both of these forms must be sworn before a notary or lawyer before filing them with the PEILRB.

Given the difficulty the average Employee may have with any legislation such as the Prince Edward Island Labour Act, take your time and complete the Form carfeully.

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

Complete the Forms

The forms are very straight forward and self explanatory. The Form 11 will require that you know which section of the Prince Edward Island Labour Act you are saying has been violated. We have included the Section 10 excerpts from the Prince Edward Island Labour Act at the end of this document.

If you have any questions or are confused by the process please contact one of our Employee Advisors from the Contacts section of our website.

Timing the Filing of Your ULP Complaint

As there is not set process for a employee filing a ULP in Prince Edward Island we recommend that you file your documents as soon as possible. Timing is particularly important if your complaint is in regard to a Union certification application because if the PEILRB finds merit in your complaint they may stop the certification application altogether.

In short, file you complaint as soon as you feel there has been a contravention of the Prince Edward Island Labour Act.

Deliver Your Forms

Documents can be filed by hand, registered mail, or prepaid courier. The official office hours of the PEILRB are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. Documents are deemed to have been received by the PEILRB on the date that they were sent by registered mail or prepaid courier.

The PEILRB will accept documents sent by facsimile, with the original to follow by prepaid courier, registered mail, or hand delivery. It is likely the PEILRB will want the original documents so be sure and keep copies for yourself.

You can find the address and contact informaiton for the PEILRB on its website.

What Happens Next?

After the PEILRB receives your complaint an officer of the PEILRB will likely contact you and begin an investigation into your claim. If the officer cannot affect settlement they may call a hearing to decide the matter.

If they find that your complaint is valid they can order a range of actions from making he union stop whatever it had been doing, to penalties against the Union.

If your complaint is in regard to a certification campaign the Board may throw out the application if they believe the Union committed an unfair Labour Practice while getting cards signed.

Updated: 2006-09-04
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