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Fighting to end forced unionization on Provincial infrastructure projects

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As a condition of employment, some Provincial Government infrastructure projects in Manitoba use a Project Labour Agreement (PLA), which requires all workers to join a union and/or pay union dues. This policy can go as far as requiring unionized employees to switch unions. In its most extreme form, the Bi-Pole 3 Transmission Line PLA requires all workers to belong to one of just two authorized unions.

Canada is one of the last major Western nations to allow PLAs to restrict workers from choosing whether they want to unionize and/or to which union they can belong while working on a government project. In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights ruled such policies are in violation of human rights and banned the use within its 47 member states. New Zealand, Australia and some states within the USA have eliminated the use of PLAs.


April 2015: CFIB surveyed Manitoba members and 88 per cent of respondents do not believe that union membership should be a requirement to work on public infrastructure projects. Only 3 per cent were supportive and 9 per cent were undecided/no interest in the issue.

September 2015: CFIB issued a news release urging the provincial government to end its practice of using PLAs on major infrastructure projects. CFIB said “entrepreneurs support bringing Manitoba’s policies into the 21st century by eliminating this violation on human rights.”

Next Steps:

CFIB will continue to push the new Manitoba government to amend the Labour Relations Act to eliminate the use of PLAs in Manitoba once and for all.

If you have any questions, please contact Business Resources at 1-888-234-2232 or [email protected].