Canada: Labour Law - Newfoundland & Labrador

Last Updated: December 19 2014
Practice Guide by Blaney McMurtry LLP
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR Labour Relations Act, RSN 1990, c L-1
Certification/De-certification Certification

Trade union with the majority of members the employees of one or more employers may apply to the board for certification 36(1)

The board, in consideration whether an applying trade unit is an appropriate bargaining unit for collective bargaining, may add or exclude employees from the unit 38(1)

Board may certify where (a) the board is satisfied that a majority of the employees are members in good standing of the unit, (b) where the board is satisfied as a result of a vote that a majority of the employees want the union to be their bargaining agent, or (c) where at least 70% of union members vote and a majority of those are in favour of having the union as their bargaining agent 38(2)

No certification where the union is overly influence by an employer or dominated by an employer 44

The board shall certify a union where it is satisfied that at least 65% of the employees in the union are in favour of certification, and may take a representation vote if at least 40% are in favour 47

Once a trade union is certified, it has exclusive authority to act as bargaining agent for the unit 50

Revocation

The board may revoke certification where, following an investigation, the board deems that a union no longer represents the majority of the employees for that unit 51(1); support for the unit may also be determined by vote 51(2)

Where an application for revoking of certification has the support of not less than 40% of the employees in the unit, a vote shall be held to determine the wishes of the employees 51.1(1)
Collective Bargaining Rules All parties to a collective bargaining shall bargain in good faith 71

Where no collective agreement is in force, a certified union may commence a collective bargaining by providing notice to the employer at any time

Where a collective agreement is in place, not more than 60 days and not less than 30 days before the expiration of the current agreement 73(1)

Where notice has been given, collective bargaining must commence within 20 days 74

Disputes in the course of a first collective bargaining may be referred by either party to be resolved in arbitration 81.1(1)

A first agreement arrived at by arbitration shall, unless the parties agree to make it longer, last for 3 years 81.3
Dispute Resolution in Collective Agreements A collective agreement shall contain a provision for final settlement without stoppage of work, whether by arbitration or otherwise 86(1)

Where an agreement doesn't contain such a provision, it shall be deemed to contain that outlined in 86(2) 86(2)

Parties to a collective agreement may, where all other grievance procedures have been exhausted, refer the disagreements to be resolved by expedited arbitration 86.1(1)

Parties may also, notwithstanding other provisions and remedies, refer a grievance to a grievance mediator 86.2(1)

Act provides for the establishment of the Labour Management Arbitration Committee 91.1(1)
Conciliation Where notice to collectively bargain has been given, but has not commenced in time, either party may request for a conciliation officer to be appointed, and shall submit a statement of difficulties 79(1)

Where the minister receives a request to appoint a conciliation officer, the minister may appoint a person as a mediator 80(1) and the appointment of the mediator cancels any appointment of a conciliation officer 80(3)

Where a conciliation officer fails to bring about an agreement, the minister may appoint a conciliation board for the purpose of trying to bring about an agreement between the parties 107
Strike / Lock-out Procedures No strike or lock-out may be held until the parties have bargained in good faith, have failed to conclude an collective agreement, and (a) a conciliation board has been appointed to try and bring about an agreement and 7 days have passed since the report was received by the minister, (b) either party has requested a conciliation board and 15 days have been passed since notice has not been given by the minister or the minister has given notice of its intention not to appoint a conciliation board 98

No strikes while a collective agreement is in force 99

No strike may be held until a strike vote is held and a majority of the employees voting have voted in favour of a strike 100.1
Unfair Labour Practices 23-24 Employers shall not:
  • Participate or interfere with the formation or administration of a trade union
  • Contribute financial or other support
  • Refuse to employ a person because that person is a member of a trade union
  • Impose conditions on a contract of employment that denies any rights or benefits by reasons that that person is a member of a trade union
An employer shall not in the course of a labour dispute threaten to shut down or move a plant or part of a plant 26

An employee shall not act in such a way as to coerce or unduly persuade a person with a view to encourage or discourage membership in a trade union 28(1)

Where an employer has received notice from the board that a union has made application for certification, it may not alter the wages or another term or condition of employment of the employees without the union's consent 45
Statutory Tribunal Labour Relations Board

Powers

Board and panel members have all of the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act 15(1)

Board may receive or accept evidence and information on oath, affidavit or otherwise as it considers appropriate, whether or not such evidence is admissible in a court of law 15(2)

Board may delegate this authority to any person 16

18
The Board may:
  • Examine evidence
  • Order pre-hearing procedures and conferences
  • Compel evidence or testimony
  • Limit the scope of a hearing
  • Make investigations and inquiries as it deems necessary
  • Enter upon an employers' premises for the purposes of conducting a representation vote
  • Adjourn or postpone a hearing
  • Amend any document submitted to it
  • Decide questions with respect to collective bargaining
  • Make orders upon employers, employees and directors of corporations
This document is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or rely on any information in this document without first seeking legal advice. This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any specific questions on any legal matter, you should consult a professional legal services provider.

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