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How to Join CWA Canada

If you want the better work conditions provided by a union, we want to help you. CWA Canada does not choose who it wants to represent; you choose us. And thousands of Canadian workers have. Just take a look through our Locals and you'll see a wide variety of workplaces that are part of the CWA Canada family.

Getting your workplace organized can be done and it can be done fairly quickly. We keep it all confidential.


Determine whether there is interest in organizing your workplace

Talk about it with a small group of trusted colleagues to see whether there's interest in organizing. Determine whether they share the same concerns you have. Do they have other issues? Is there a common theme to these concerns such as lack of respect and dignity, lack of voice in the workplace, unfair treatment, favouritism, disparity in wages and benefits? If so, contact a CWA Canada Staff Representative, all of whom are listed in the website's Directory.


How a Staff Representative Helps

The CWA Canada Staff Representative helps you evaluate the situation in your workplace and determine whether to move forward with a campaign.

The Representative will assist you in identifying whether a clear majority of employees in one or more departments or company-wide are concerned about significant issues, the potential for majority support and the ability to create a strong committee of employees who are willing to help build a union.


Card Sign Up and Campaign

The CWA Canada Representative helps the committee to sign a majority of your co-workers. Depending on your province, this may result in the appropriate Labour Board granting the union automatic status, which is called “automatic certification,” and/or ordering a vote of all employees to see if there’s majority support.

Once the Labour Board is satisfied of majority support and has granted certification, the union has legal status in your workplace.

It can take anywhere from weeks to months to go through this process. It depends on the number of employees in your workplace, provincial legislation regarding card signing and voting periods and, of course, your own determination.

Remember: It is illegal for your employer to take action against you or your colleagues for union activities.


Who Represents Us?

Once you and a majority of your co-workers vote to join the union, you and your colleagues elect an executive of volunteers from your workplace to run your Local's affairs and to represent the Local at the national level.


How Do We Achieve Our First Contract?

Once your Local executive determines what the members want in a contract, you elect a bargaining committee which, with the help of the Staff Representative, negotiates the first collective agreement with the company.

Your Local can achieve:

  • Better pay and benefits

  • Job security (you can't be fired unjustly)

  • Improved working conditions

  • A fair process for dealing with problems

  • Protection against discrimination and harassment at work


Do We Have to Strike to Get What We Want?

No. Nearly all of CWA Canada's collective agreements are reached without strike action. There can never be a strike unless you and a majority of your co-workers vote to strike.

In the rare event of a strike, CWA Canada's strike pay is among the highest of any union.


What the Union Costs

You and your colleagues decide how much your union dues will be, subject to the union's Constitution. Dues generally run about 1.5 per cent of earnings and are tax deductible.


CWA Canada staff welcome your inquiries:

David Wilson: 613.850.5423 |