Every four years, workers have the option to change their union allegiance during a vote that takes place 11 months before the collective agreements expire. Depending on their status for the purpose of this vote, their choice of allegiance may also determine the union representativeness of the different associations for negotiation of the subsequent collective agreements.
Workers who do not exercise their right to vote will have their existing union allegiance automatically renewed for the following four years. This is called the “presumption of allegiance.”
The union vote is governed by Act R-20 and the Regulation Respecting the Election of a Representative Association by Employees of the Construction Industry. This exercise involves several steps, and workers are asked to express their vote by mail.
The Commission de la construction du Québec has a double mandate:
- To ensure that the vote runs smoothly
|Find out the dates and important details to know before the next union vote.|
- To ensure a healthy environment in the construction industry, protect workers’ rights, and investigate all non-compliant situations.
|Learn more about the rules for raiding or tell us about a situation that you feel is non-compliant.|
Process and important details for 2020
How to vote
The raiding period
Coming into effect of the new union allegiances
The voting period for the 2020 union vote will be June 1 to June 20. It is a vote that takes place by mail, so that workers can vote in complete confidentiality.
Workers who do not exercise their right to vote will have their existing union allegiance automatically renewed for the following four years. This is called the “presumption of allegiance.”.
The process and rules for the union vote are governed by Act R-20 and the Regulation Respecting the Election of a Representative Association by Employees of the Construction Industry.
The main steps in the union vote
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1. Workers receive a notification confirming their voting or participant status.
Votes by workers with “voting” status determine their union allegiance. Their votes are also used to calculate the union representativeness of the association that they choose.
To have voting status, a worker must:
- Hold a journeyman competency certificate (JCC), apprentice competency certificate (ACC), or occupation competency certificate (OCC) and have worked 300 hours or more during the period from February 24, 2019 to February 29, 2020.
Votes by workers with participant status determine only their union allegiance..
To be a participant, a worker must:
- Hold a JCC, ACC, or OCC and have worked less than 300 hours between February 24, 2019 and February 29, 2020
- Hold an exemption from holding a JCC, ACC, or OCC
- Hold a registration certificate (interprovincial agreements)
Strict rules govern union raiding activities. The CCQ investigates all situations deemed non-compliant that it observes or that are reported to it.
3. From June 1 to June 20, workers vote.
Before June 1, 2020, all workers with the right to vote (voting or participant status) receive a voting kit, which includes a ballot and a leaflet containing information on the union vote.
|Ready to vote? Find out about the 5 steps to follow and errors to avoid so that your ballot is not rejected when the votes are counted. .|
IMPORTANT: Workers who exercise their right to vote must mail their ballot to the CCQ during the period set out for the vote: June 1 to June 20, 2020.
To ensure that the vote is confidential and secure, workers may not submit their ballot at a CCQ regional office. Only ballots received by mail will be considered.
To obtain another voting kit
Workers who have not received their voting kit by June 4, 2020, or whose ballot has been marked, damaged, or lost, may obtain another kit. To do so, they must contact the CCQ by email :
- By clicking on "Contact us" in their online services. In their message, workers must mention why they want to replace their voting kit, their telephone number, and the best time to contact them.
The request must be made between June 4 and June 11, 2020.
After mailing in a ballot, workers may not ask for another ballot to change their choice.
4. Ten days after the vote count is completed, a notification is sent to workers to confirm their choice of allegiance.
On June 22, 2020, the CCQ begins to count the votes. After completing this operation, which may last several days depending on the number of votes received, a notification is sent to workers confirming their choice of allegiance, whether or not they exercised their right to vote.
Workers have 30 days following the end of the vote count to contest the union allegiance given on the notification.
The union allegiance in effect at the time of the vote is automatically renewed for any worker whose vote is rejected.
5. In September, workers receive their new allegiance card.
The union allegiance recorded in a worker’s file comes into effect on September 1, 2020, and is valid for a period of four years.
Workers who change allegiance must inform their employer when they receive their new allegiance card, so that the employer can modify the union dues collected.
During a union vote, workers choose their union allegiance. They do this by filling out the ballot provided for this purpose.
Instructions pour voter
To exercise their right to vote, workers must use the ballot and stamped return envelope mailed to them by the CCQ. They must proceed as follows:
1.Tick their choice of union association on the ballot in the space provided for this purpose.
2.Sign the ballot.
3.Include a photocopy of a piece of identification that is valid on the date that the voting period begins.
In compliance with section 337 of the Election Act, only pieces of identification issued by the government of Québec or one of its departments or bodies, or by another Canadian province or territory (if you are not a Québec resident), and the Canadian passport are accepted.
These pieces must bear:
- The worker’s name
- The worker’s photograph
- The worker’s signature
Examples of accepted pieces of identification:
- Health insurance (Medicare) card
- Driver’s licence
- Canadian passport
All copies must be of good quality so that the information and photograph on them are fully visible. Do not send original documents.
4. Put the ballot and the photocopy of the piece of identification in the stamped response envelope, making sure that the ballot barcode appears in the envelope window.
Workers who use an envelope other than the one supplied by the CCQ must ensure that it does not identify them (e.g., return address, company logo).
They must also affix sufficient postage and send to the following address:
Case postale 11744
5. Mail the stamped response envelope during the voting period: between June 1 and June 20, 2020.
To ensure that the vote remains confidential and secure, workers must not submit their envelope to a CCQ regional office. Only ballots received by mail will be counted.
Reasons that a vote may be rejected
A ballot may be rejected if it shows one of the following anomalies:
- It is not filled out in compliance with the Regulation Respecting the Election of a Representative Association by Employees of the Construction Industry
- It is not mailed during the period provided for the vote
- It is not signed by the employee, or the signature does not match the signature appearing on the photocopy of the piece of identification attached to the ballot
- It is not the official and original document provided by the CCQ
- It is not accompanied by a photocopy of a valid piece of identification
- It is accompanied by a photocopy of a piece of identification on which the worker’s name, photograph, and signature are not clearly visible
- It is not in an opaque envelope
- It is in an envelope that identifies the employee
- It bears more than one choice or no choice
- It is marked in a place other than one of the spaces provided for the purpose
- It bears eccentric or injurious writings
- Workers whose ballot is rejected will be considered not to have voted. As a consequence, they will retain the union allegiance in effect at the time of the vote.
The raiding period
Union raiding is legal. However, strict rules govern how union associations may solicit and advertise.
Fom May 1 to May 31, 2020, the union associations have the right to advertise and to solicit workers to get them to join them during the next union vote. The voting period for the 2020 union vote will be June 1 to June 20.
The CCQ investigates every situation deemed non-compliant that is reported to it regarding advertising, solicitation, or acts of discrimination or intimidation that may arise during a union vote.
Restrictions on solicitation and advertising
All solicitation and advertising aimed at getting a worker to join a union association is forbidden outside of the raiding period prescribed in Act R-20 (May 1 to May 31, 2020).
During the raiding period, solicitation and advertising are permitted only if they are done outside of work hours and workplaces.
Any act of discrimination or intimidation is ILLEGAL and is NOT TOLERATED.
To make a complaint
If you have been the victim of intimidation or if you have witnessed an act that breaks the rules governing union raiding, report it to us now:
- By using the form provided for this purpose
- By email, to email@example.com;
- By telephone, at:
- 1 800 424-3512 (toll-free)
- 514 593-3132 (Montréal and region).
All complaints received are treated confidentially.
The union allegiance recorded in the worker’s file in relation to the 2020 union vote is in effect from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2024.
Workers who change allegiance must inform their employer, so that the employer can modify the union dues collected.
Workers receive their new allegiance card by the September following the end of the union vote.
Concerning the September monthly report
Employers who employ a worker who changes allegiance must take account of this in their September monthly report, which covers the period from August 30 to September 26, 2020.
To do this, the employer must fill out two lines in the report:
- One for the period of August 30–31, 2020
- The other for the period of September 1–26, 2020
The September monthly report must be submitted by October 15, 2020.