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LIUNA Local 183
LiUNA Local 183 Strike Frequently Asked Questions
LiUNA Local 183 Strike Frequently Asked Questions
5/7/2016 3:20:30 PM


What is a ratification vote?
In a ratification vote members in a bargaining unit are asked whether they wish to ratify (accept) a proposed settlement reached between the trade union and an employer or employers’ organization. When rejecting a proposed settlement the workers are asked to vote Yes (accept) or No (strike) by secret ballot. Local 183 has some collective agreements which have a “no-strike/no-lockout agreement” and for those agreements the choice is Yes (accept) or No (arbitration). Under Ontario law ratification votes are not required in the construction industry. However, it is the practice of Local 183 to hold a ratification vote to ensure that its members agree to and support the terms negotiated on their behalf.

What is the purpose of a strike?
During a strike no one performs the work covered by the struck collective agreement. Union members act together to put pressure upon their employers, and to have those employers give the Union the terms being demanded by the workers. Standing united workers can bargain and strike for better wages and working conditions. If we do not stand together, the employers may demand and obtain concessions or roll-backs.

Who decides if there will be a strike?
If the Union’s bargaining committee has been able to reach a proposed collective agreement, the members in the bargaining unit decide at the ratification vote to ratify (accept) or reject (strike). Where there is no agreement reached, the Union’s Business Manager decides whether and when to commence a strike. Under Ontario law a strike vote is not required in the construction industry.

How long can a strike last?
The Mike Harris government made changes to the Labour Relations Act which limits the ability of unions to strike in the residential sector of the construction industry in the Greater Toronto Area and Simcoe County. Such strikes cannot commence before May 1st, or continue past June 15th. As of June 15th any strike in the residential sector in the GTA and Simcoe County must end, and the collective agreement will be settled by interest arbitration. Outside of the residential sector (such as Roads, Heavy, Sewer and Watermain) there is no restriction on how long a strike may go.

What happens if I go to work while my sector is on strike?
During a strike all union members are expected to refuse to perform struck work. Any member found breaking the strike may be charged under the Union’s Constitution. The Union does not ask or expect members working in sectors which are not on strike to refuse to perform their regular work.

What is a scab?
A scab is a term used to describe a replacement worker, or someone who attempts to break the strike. It can refer to Union members who act against the Union and return to work for a struck employer. It can also refer to a non-Union person hired to perform your job while you are on strike. Don’t be a scab.

If I am not on strike am I required to cross the picket line?
During the term of a collective agreement the Union and its members covered by that collective agreement are not entitled to strike. The Union does not request or expect you to engage in an unlawful strike. If your collective agreement has been ratified (or is proceeding to arbitration) you are to continue working for your employer.

If you have made a personal decision to not cross a picket line, we suggest that you ask your employer to assign you to work at a different location. If you are disciplined or subjected to a reprisal because you have decided not to cross a picket line, please contact your Business Representative so that the Union can determine how it can help you.

Do I get paid while on strike?
Unions which provide strike pay have their members contribute an amount per hour worked to a strike fund. They give you your own money back when you go on strike. Local 183 does not have strike pay in its collective agreements and has put that money into the pockets of the members when it was earned.

Do I have to picket?
If your sector is on strike Local 183 encourages you to support the strike and engage in picketing. You are entitled to picket at your employer’s shop or worksite, or at the shop or worksites of any other struck employer. If you want to know where you can help the most, please contact your Business Representative or the Strike Headquarters. While you are not required to picket, picketing shows the employers that we mean business. The strength of a picket line often determines the outcome of a strike, and more people on the line can lead to shorter strikes.

Can I see the proposed agreements online?
Collective bargaining is confidential and nothing is released to the members unless and until the Union reaches an agreement with the employer or employers organization. Any proposed settlement is then brought to the membership for a ratification vote. We encourage all members to attend at their proposal meetings and ratification meetings and to ensure that their vote is counted. If you don’t participate, you let someone else decide the terms of your contract.

How will I be notified about ratification meetings?
We will mail out letters to members in the voting sector, and will also post notices on social media & our website. It is your responsibility to ensure that your current address is on file with the Union.

Any updates to current situation will be posted both here on the official LIUNA Local 183 website as well as on our Social Media feeds

Strike Headquarters

Line 1: 416.243.6530 
Line 2: 416.243.6531


Attached Files
Strike FAQ


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