May 15, 2015by Israel Foulon LLP
On August 30, 2014, employees of the Credit Valley Oral Surgery clinics voted in support of an application for certification by the United Food and Commercial Workers (“UFCW”) and made it the first dental practice in Ontario to unionize. This particular employer had four offices in Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, and Milton. UFCW claims that employees turned to the union looking for equality, job security, a respectful workplace and improved working conditions. It is believed that UFCW is dialing-up its efforts to organize more dental practices in Ontario.
What you need to know
Unions target workers who feel that their compensation package is below market or who otherwise feel that they are treated unfairly. You should review your compensation practices and your workplace rules and culture to ensure that your workplace is not vulnerable.
If you think that an organizing drive is underway (or that your practice is otherwise susceptible to unionization), we recommend that you obtain the advice of legal counsel so that you are informed of what you are, and are not, permitted to say and do once an organizing drive commences. If the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“the Board”) finds that an employer has engaged in any unfair labour practices (which may include discriminating against workers on the basis of their union membership, threatening or coercing workers or otherwise creating a significant chill surrounding a union organizing drive), the Board has discretion to rectify the unfair conduct which may include automatically certify the union, even if the union does not have the support of a majority of the employees.