When could a strike or lockout happen?

Answer

A strike can be called only after:

  1. there is no collective agreement in operation between the Council and the employee organization that represents the employee;

  2. a conciliation officer has made a report to the Minister of Labour under clause 7 (3) (b) to the effect that, despite his or her efforts, the terms of a collective agreement have not been settled and the Minister has informed the parties of the report by notice in writing in accordance with subsection 7 (4);

  3. the members of the bargaining unit have voted in favour of a strike by a vote by secret ballot conducted under the supervision of and in the manner determined by the Ontario Labour Relations Board;

  4. after a vote in favour of a strike in accordance with clause (c), the employee organization that represents the employee gives the Council and the employer written notice of the strike and of the date on which the strike will commence at least five days before the commencement of the strike; and

  5. 16 days have elapsed after the date on the Minister’s notice referred to in clause (b).  [CCBA-2008, c. 15, s. 17 (1)]

It is important to note that a tentative agreement can still be reached at any point during this process.

It is also important to stress that the bargaining team never calls a strike lightly. It is only used when all other avenues for negotiation have failed and when the issues at stake are of sufficient importance.

Strike Deadline

Where there has been a ‘yes’ to a strike vote the union has the authority to set a strike deadline with 5 days’ notice to the employer. A strike deadline further increases pressure on the employer to reach a fair agreement.