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Please be advised, that the Heinz Company Store’s last day of operation will be WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 2014.


The H.J. Heinz Company Ltd. - Company Store - Dates Open


2012 Scholarship


Changing Patterns of Unionization...

Statistics Canada

In 2004, more than 4 million workers were unionized, up 43% from 1977. The increase in unionization, however, has lagged behind employment growth.


Even in a lean year, UAW members open their hearts, wallets.



You have the "right" under Ontario's Labour Relations Act  to organize and join a union.

"Every person is free to join a trade union of the person's own choice and to participate in its lawful activities." 
(s. 5, LRA, 1995)

It is illegal in Ontario for Employers to interfere with unions or employees' rights.  That is, it is illegal for an employer to:

  • "refuse to employ or continue to employ" anyone or "discriminate against" anyone in employment based on membership in a trade union or the exercise of rights under the Act.
  • impose any condition in employment contract seeking to restrain someone from becoming a member of a trade union or from exercising rights under the Act.
  • seek by threat of dismissal, by any other kind of threat, or by the imposition of pecuniary or other penalties, or "by any other means" to compel an employee to refrain from becoming or continuing to be a member of a trade union or from exercising rights under the Act.
  • use intimidation or coercion.
  • ignore a certified trade union.  Once a union has bargaining rights and has service notice to bargain, an employer must meet with that union and bargain in good faith toward a collective agreement.

The right to organize is a fundamental right, protected under provincial and federal laws.  By law we can:

  • attend meetings to learn about the union and ways to support ourselves.
  • read and distribute union literature in non-work areas during non-work time.
  • in most cases, the right to wear union insignia like buttons, pins and stickers at work.
  • sign an authorization card asking our employer to recognize and bargain with us as a union.
  • ask other workers to support our union , to sign authorization cards or petitions.

Email for more information.

Download and PRINT the Application For Membership [ 48 kb ]


Yes, all UAW members belong to their own Local Union, elect their own officers, committeepersons and stewards and control their own treasury.

Members decide what you want in your contract at membership meetings called for this purpose.

No. Ontario's Labour Relations Act, 1995 provides that once a trade union applies for certification at the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the employer has notice of it from the Board, the Act establishes a "statutory freeze" until the Board has issued a final decision in the application or the union has served notice to bargain (ss. 86(2)). Similarly, if the Union wins certification, it has the right to serve the employer with a notice to bargain toward a collective agreement. That notice to bargain triggers another statutory freeze, effective until an agreement is negotiated or the union is in a strike position (ss. 86(1)). Under both 86(1) and (2), the freeze is broadly worded and applies to wages and "any other term or condition of employment or any right, privilege or duty of the employer, the trade union or the employees". Benefits would definitely be frozen, unless the Union consented to a change.

Similarly, since the Act requires "business as usual" during the freeze, an employer would have to follow its normal practices (e.g., annual evaluations and wage increases) and implement any planned improvements or increases in working conditions in order to avoid violating the statutory freeze.

During an organizing campaign (that is, before the freeze kicks in), the removal or threat to remove, benefit coverage would be an unfair labour practice complaint if it is motivated by anti-union animus, seeking to interfere with the formation or selection of a trade union. Employer interference in trade unions and employer interference with employees' rights are outlawed by sections 70 and 72.

You select and/or elect your own committee to negotiate your contract.  Experienced Canadian representatives of the International Union will assist you.  In addition, UAW Departments with expertise in various areas such as health safety and retirement are available.

No.  In the UAW before any settlement becomes final, it must be presented to the full membership for their acceptance or rejection.  Further, members of your committee will make periodic reports on the progress of negotiations.

If you, along with the membership, vote to accept a contract only then can such a contract become effective.

A strike is the act of workers withholding their labour.  The UAW Constitution requires that two-thirds of the voting members must authorize a strike.  98% of all UAW contracts are settled without a strike.

In Ontario, workers can strike only after a "no board" report is issued by the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the matter is referred to a mediator. 

Yes.  During the time you spend on an authorized strike the UAW will pay you strike benefits under the provisions of the UAW Strike Assistance Program.  At present the weekly benefit is $200US plus life insurance and the cost of any contractual health benefits, excluding vision and dental care.

The dues in the UAW are two (2) hours pay per month.  The UAW dues structure has not changed since 1967. 

It is the policy of the UAW not to require payment of any dues until after a first contract has been negotiated and accepted by the employees.

No.  Union dues can only be raised if you vote to raise dues at a membership meeting of your local or by your delegates from your facility or local to the International Union Convention.

No.  The UAW Constitution does not allow for collecting any special assessments.

The initiation fee is a minimum of $10CDN and a maximum of $50CDN. 

No.  Newly organized members do not pay any initiation fees.

Yes.  The sub regional office is located in Chatham, Ontario.  The UAW is affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress, the Ontario Federation of Labour and the American Federation of Labour.  

Email for more information.

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