Why Join UFCW 1518?
Matchstick workers deserve fairness and respect. Joining UFCW 1518 puts the power of a union with more than 24,000 members on your side, protecting your rights in the workplace. We will work together to create long-lasting improvements to your workplace, using collective bargaining to protect your rights and outline a process to ensure you and your coworkers are treated with respect and dignity. UFCW 1518 members work alongside with business owners to create positive changes, earn improved wages and benefits, job security, and a strong voice at work.
Here are answers to questions workers often have about joining a union:
UFCW 1518 was contacted by some of your co-workers and asked to assist them to gain the power to negotiate long-lasting improvements to their jobs through joining a union.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1518 is British Columbia’s largest private-sector union with more than 24,000 members in British Columbia and the Yukon. UFCW 1518 has offices located in New Westminster, Kelowna and Victoria and represents workers in Retail, Food Processing, Healthcare and Professional Services. We represent workers at Save-On-Foods, Safeway, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Point Blank Creative, Cartems Donuts, and Clarity Cannabis, to name just a few.
You will decide with your coworkers what changes your union will push for. Here are some of the common improvements we bargain for:
- A Stronger Voice at the Workplace:
The fight for fairness starts with workers gaining the power to change their working environment. Coming together with your coworkers will give you the power to make your jobs better for you and those who come after you. We are stronger together!
- Education & Training:
A union will bring your proposals to the bargaining table to have your employer support education and training initiatives and fund necessary certification.
- Health & Safety:
We will work with you to create a strong Joint Health and Safety Committee to discuss health and safety issues in the workplace, including mental health and seeking Narcan/Naloxone training.
- Better Wages:
A union can negotiate a fair wage scale that provides workers with regular pre-approved wage increases! No need to ask for a raise anymore, they are guaranteed.
- Enforceable Employment Contact:
All unionized workplaces have a mutually agreed upon employment contract known as a collective agreement. This collective agreement will secure the working conditions workers have today as well as all the improvement made during negotiation. Your employer is legally obligated to negotiate with your union in “good faith.”
- Professional Advocacy and Support:
With a union, workers are not left on their own to deal with management. Union members have access to union representatives, labour lawyers, and Workers Compensation lawyers, as well as any other consultation your union determines is needed to help you solve your issues at work.
Every British Columbian has the right to join a union. The unionizing process is designed by the government to be 100% confidential. Here's what you need to do to join UFCW 1518:
- Connect with Us Confidentially
Use our contact form or call us at 1-888-581-1518.
We will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your questions about joining a union.
Know that once you start the process of unionizing, your job is protected by the BC Labour Relations Board.
- Union Support Cards
Working with staff from our union, you and the majority of your co-workers (45%) sign a support card indicating you would like the BC Labour Relations Board to hold a unionization vote at your workplace.
This process is confidential. Your employer will never have the right to know who did or did not sign. Your employer cannot legally take action against anyone for signing a card.
- Secret Ballot Vote
When a majority of your co-workers have signed a union card, the BC Labour Relations Board will hold a secret ballot vote to form a union at your workplace.
Vote “Yes” to join the union!
No, that is illegal. No one can be terminated or harassed for supporting a union. UFCW 1518 will not tolerate any employer violating workers’ rights and will take legal action if needed.
No, your employer will never see or find out who signed the cards. They won't even know how many were signed. The entire process is designed by the government to be anonymous.
There is no cost to join until you vote in your first collective agreement. Once that happens, your dues will be no more than 2% of your earnings. Since unions are non-profit organizations, your dues are 100% tax deductible. The higher wages, rights and benefits that come with unionization are well worth the small cost associated with joining!
Securing what you have today into a legally binding contract ensures that what you like about your job stays that way even if there is a change of management and even ownership. Belonging to a union also creates a support network: Stewards, union representatives, negotiators and lawyers will be there to ensure your fair treatment at work.
No, in Canada it is illegal to close a workplace because the employees decide to form a union. In reality, no successful business will shut down because the workers decided to unionize. This is a very common threat that almost never is true. In the very few cases it has happened, the employers were already considering shutting down, long before there were talks about unionizing.
Get the facts about joining a union
The most important thing to know is that every British Columbian has the right to join a union.
The BC Labour Relations Code ensures you have the following legal rights:
- You are free to decide to join or not join a union.
- Your employer cannot fire you, suspend you, transfer you, lay you off, refuse to continue employing you or otherwise discriminate against you for being involved with the process of forming a union.
- You are free to express your views on unionization without reprisal.
CONTACT US IN CONFIDENCE
Any information you share with us is kept 100% confidential. Your employer will never know that you contacted our union.