How do we organize our workplace

You have the right to join the union

You have the right to a respectful workplace. You have the right to a fair wage. You have the right to job security. You have the right to a pension and to health insurance. You have the right to join the Teamsters.

Once you have a Collective Agreement in place as a member of Teamsters Union Local 855, your employer must honour those rights laid out in the Agreement.

Certification for your bargaining unit

In order for Local 855 to help you negotiate with your employer, you and your co-workers need to be Certified by the Labour Board as a Bargaining Unit. To be recognized as a Bargaining Unit you need the support of 51 percent of non-management co-workers. We can help.

  • If you believe at least 51% of your co-workers support Certification, contact a Teamsters Organizer at Local 855.
  • Your Organizer will provide Application-for-Membership Cards and our Organizing Department will advise you on how to complete them and how best to encourage others to do the same.
  • Each non-management person who signs an Application Card is voting to be certified and to have Teamsters Local 855 represent you.
  • When 51 percent of your co-workers have completed and signed Membership Application Cards, we apply immediately on your behalf for Certification to the Labour Board.
  • When the Board grants Certification, we work with you to begin the process of forming the Bargaining Unit, to identify the concerns of your group, and the rights you want to protect.
  • We work with you and your co-workers to identify the concerns that you want addressed.


Negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement with your employer
  1. Before we begin to negotiate on your behalf we look for a clear understanding of exactly what you need and exactly what issues you want addressed. We do this through full democratic consultations with you and all your co-workers at a group meeting.
  2. Once you and your co-workers have told us what you want to see in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, we begin
    negotiations with your employer.
  3. Strengthened by your demands, we sit at the negotiating table with the employer to establish the terms and
    conditions of an Agreement.
  4. We bring the final offer of your newly negotiated Agreement back to you for your review and your vote.
    1. If a majority of your Unit approves the Agreement as is, then we sign on your behalf and move forward.
    2. If a majority does not approve of the Agreement then we amend it to address the remaining concerns.
  5. We bring the revised Agreement back to the bargaining table. This process continues until there is an Agreement in place.
Frequently asked questions about organizing a bargaining unit

If you have ANY questions about any stage of this process, contact us. Please remember that you have our 100% support all the way.
We are here for you.

How large does the company have to be for employees to unionize?

Company can be any size, big or small—as long as 51% of the employees sign a Membership Application Card they can join a union.

Are union dues expensive?

Your union dues cost less than your daily coffee. To calculate how much your monthly union dues will be, multiply your hourly rate by 2.5.

For example, if you make $20.00 per hour then your monthly dues are $50.00. Dues are a tax deduction. If you are on layoff, WCB or Group Insurance you can request a Withdrawal Card which waives your dues while you are off.

Can we lose our jobs if we try to organize?

You are protected by the Canadian Labour Code, NL Labour Relations Act and the Human Rights Act. But to take advantage of your legal right to organize you must begin this work on your own time away from your employer’s property.

Canada Labour Code

What are my Legal Rights if I want to join a Union

As you begin to organize, you are protected by Section 149 of the Labour Relations Code. That section makes it illegal for an employer to bully an employee “by intimidation, dismissal, threat of dismissal or any other kind of threat.” Your employer is also prohibited from asking any employee’s opinion on organizing. If your employer violates any terms of this Code, Teamsters Local 855 can help you.

How long does a Collective Bargaining Agreement last?

Depending on the industry, you work in, and the terms we negotiate, the length of your Agreement will vary.

For example, it might be for a specific numbers of years (determined through the negotiation process) or, in the case of Special Projects Agreements in construction, it would be for the duration or completion of that Project.

What benefits does Local 855 offer its members?

Through Collective Bargaining we negotiate better wages, seniority and benefits for all members. We police the terms of your Agreement and, when necessary, grieve and arbitrate Employer violations. We obtain professional legal advice respecting your Collective Agreement and have access to a Worker Compensation specialist, if you require assistance with your WCB Claim.


Pension Plans and RSP’s

Health Insurance Plans at competitive rates

Retirement Health Plans cost shared 50/50 by your union

Scholarships for Members and their financial dependents

What is in it for you?

Your rights and labour protection

Canada’s Federal and Provincial labour laws and regulations offer a minimum to protect employees. They establish basic rights and set limitations on how employers can treat workers. The Teamsters provide more than just these basic rights. And we strive to collectively and continuously improve your working conditions.

In your workplace you are protected by a Contract signed between your Teamsters Union Local and the Company. The terms of the Contract ensure that labour laws are followed, and that your advantages and benefits are protected. These rights are negotiated into your written Contract called the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Improvements in the CBA may include:

  • Fair Wage
  • Benefits
  • Respect
  • Shift Preference
  • Parental Leave
  • Safe Workplace
  • Sick Leave
  • Vacations
  • Fair Working Hours
  • Seniority
  • Paid Overtime
  • Pension
  • Harassment Free Environment
  • And more