Vote or Card Count

The basic steps of forming a union are the same throughout the country. Learn about Joining a Union in Canada—Five Steps.

However, depending on the province you are in and what industry you work in, union recognition is either won through a vote or by a card count.

Find out how your province certifies unions.

Alberta – Vote

British Columbia – Vote

Manitoba – Card Count

New Brunswick – Card Count

Newfoundland and Labrador – Card Count

Nova Scotia – Vote

Ontario – Vote

Prince Edward Island – Card Count

In Prince Edward Island, the Labour Board can certify a union when over 55% of employees have signed union cards, and can set up a vote if between 50% - 55% of employees have signed cards.

Quebec – Card Count

Saskatchewan – Vote

Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut – Card Count

Industries covered by Federal labour law – Card Count

People working in Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Banking, Air transportation, Shipping and navigation, Interprovincial or international transportation of goods or passengers, Uranium mining and processing, Grain handling, and Federal crown corporations are covered by Federal labour law.

For workplaces in industries covered by Federal labour law, if 40% of employees or more have signed cards, the Canada Industrial Relations Board can hold a secret ballot vote. The USW usually sets a target of more than 50% support on cards before we apply to the Board to hold your vote.