A Practical Guide to Maintaining the Union-Free Workplace

Benefits of This Program:

  • Ensuring management is equipped and just as competent as a professional union organizers
  • Information required to safeguard a position of a union-free employer


  • How to raise consciousness/ keep managers vigilant and aware of the importance of union-free status
  • How to ensure everyday decisions, practices, policies, and procedures don’t pave the way for a union drive
  • How to initiate only effective, lawful and appropriate countermeasures in the face of an organizing drive or a vote


Introduction: Know Your Adversary

  • What unions are / What they Do / Why they Organize
  • Recent statistics and trends in union organizing activity
  • Why it’s important to avoid applications for certification

Why Employees Join Unions

  • General vs. specific factors; source of dissatisfaction
  • Themes in union organizing material
  • How Unions get Bargaining Rights (Part I)
  • Voluntary recognition and certification
  • Groups of employees that unions can and cannot represent: grey areas
  • Gathering support, membership evidence
  • How much support is needed? What happens if the union doesn’t have it?
  • Applications for certification: what they are, how they happen

How Unions Get Bargaining Rights (Part II)

  • The employer’s response: what it is, why it is important to respond
  • The secret ballot vote: when, where, how
  • After the vote: tying up loose ends
  • Bars to reapplying for certification

How Unions Organize

  • Employee-initiated vs. union-initiated
  • Open campaigns vs. secret campaigns
  • Early-warning signals

Maintaining the Union-Free Workplace (Part I)

  • Best practices as preventive measures: introduction
  • Advance preparation for union application: education of supervisory/management staff, the Five Day Plan
  • Responding to union organizing activity: Introduction: unfair labour practices vs. employer free speech; remedial powers of the Ontario Labour Relations Board

Maintaining the Union-Free Workplace (Part II)

  • Responding to union organizing activity
  • What you can and should do, and what you cannot do: specific examples
  • Educating the workplace about unions: dispelling the image unions create for themselves
  • How to talk about the negatives of unionization without stepping over the line
  • Choosing the form of communication: what works best
  • Role of the supervisor in communicating the message
  • Quiz on what is legal and illegal
  • Handling common problems

What You Can Do Now – Human Resources Best Practices

  • Why best practices should be the goal
  • Identifying areas of strength and vulnerability
  • Defining the objectives and how to achieve them
  • Fair and effective managers and supervisors
  • Employees: getting the right people and managing them properly
  • Fair and competitive wages and benefits
  • Effective two-way communication between employees and management
  • Job security
  • Fairness, dignity, and respect for employees
  • Full statutory compliance (and beyond)
  • Team-building, commitment, satisfaction, and common goals
  • Making a realistic and achievable action plan

Book an In-House or Remote Program

For further information on our training, please call your lawyer at the Firm. If you are not a current client, please contact:

Program Administrator
Tel: 416-862-1616 or 1-866-821-7306