87% of Atlantic Canadians support a secret ballot vote when forming a
union, a right that has been taken away by NL government
TORONTO, June 27, 2012 /CNW/ -
I am writing to express our astonishment and dismay at the quick passage
of Bill 37 without the knowledge and support of the business community
in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Bill, which fundamentally and
decisively tips the balance of power in favour of unions, was
introduced to the House of Assembly and passed over a period of four
days! There was no consultation with the Canadian Restaurant and
Foodservices Association (CRFA) and no opportunity for debate or to
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association represents
Newfoundland and Labrador's $860-million restaurant industry, which is
the province's third-largest private-sector employer directly employing
more than 13,000 people.
CRFA is strongly opposed to the amendments to the Labour Relations Act, which deny employees their basic democratic right to a secret ballot
vote. A government-supervised secret ballot vote is the only fair and
accurate mechanism in which to determine the true wishes of employees.
In fact, a Nanos Research poll found that 84% of Canadians believe a secret ballot vote should be
required when forming or removing a union from a workplace. The
percentage increases to 87% in Atlantic Canada.
Under a card-based system there is no obligation on the union organizer
to inform employees in advance about the rules of certification and the
significance of the signed card in the certification procedure.
Because a union organizer's goal is to obtain as many signed cards as
possible, it is unrealistic to expect that the organizer will
voluntarily provide a full and balanced account of the individual's
right to accept or reject the union's campaign. The union can make
whatever statement it chooses about the employer, including comments on
the financial viability of the business. However, efforts by employers
to advise employees of their rights or provide information about their
business are labeled as "interference" by unions.
The secret ballot vote is the only fair process in a democratic
environment. It allows employees to make an important decision free of
peer pressure and intimidation from both employers and unions. It also respects the intelligence of employees
to make reasoned judgments and improves the degree of choice which
employees exercise in the certification process.
CRFA is also surprised that the process for revocation of certification
of a union doesn't parallel that of a certification and we ask you to
introduce further amendments to the Labour Code to ensure, at minimum,
that it is no harder or easier to revoke a union relationship than to
Again, CRFA is extremely disappointed that opposition to this amendment
by the employer representatives on the Employment Relations Committee
was ignored and that this fundamental change to labour relations was
rammed through the House of Assembly without proper consultation with
the business community.
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
SOURCE Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
For further information:
MEDIA CONTACT: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, CRFA Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org