Your rights at work: labour relations in Alberta

As a Teamsters Local 987 member, you hear it all the time: “Stand up for your rights!” Becoming a Teamster was your first step in the right direction, but do you ever wonder what exactly those rights are?

We also hear that “knowledge is power,” but reading up about labour relations can be complicated. Thankfully, your shop stewards and business agents are on your side, equipped with experience and know-how to get results on your behalf.

Your Collective Bargaining Agreement

If you’re a member of a union, your workplace has its own unique collective bargaining agreement. For unionized workers, this is the most important document that you have at your disposal to educate yourself about your rights at work. Getting to know the contents of these pages is the key to helping you to advocate for yourself and those around on the job.

As every collective bargaining agreement is different, the specific terms will change from workplace to workplace. What won’t change will be the types of things that your union, Teamsters Local 987, fights for on your behalf when they go to the bargaining table. Your union representatives negotiate:

  • Adequate pay for your hard work
  • Reasonable hours on the job
  • Protective safety standards in the workplace
  • The right amount of paid holidays
  • Benefits to keep you and your family healthy
  • Standards to ensure that you’re treated with respect by your coworkers and supervisors

Curious about the specifics around your rights? Your collective bargaining agreement has all of the details, and so does your shop steward and business agent.

The Alberta Labour Relations Code

In Alberta, we have a powerful legal document called the Alberta Labour Relations Code. When issues arise with workers, employers and the unions, this is what the Alberta Labour Relations Board uses to settle the dispute. This is also where unions turn when they’re ready to apply to set up a collective bargaining agreement in a workplace.

Teamsters Local 987 maintains good relations with the Board, and this is just one more benefit that our union members enjoy.

Alberta Employment Standards

Alberta workers who are not in a union have general rights, which are laid out in the Alberta Employment Standards. These include things like minimum wages, minimum hours for shifts, minimum breaks and time off, and freedom from unfair treatment.

The tricky part about these standards is that, as you probably noticed, they only afford workers the minimum level of protection. Workers without a union also have to navigate the system on their own, and that means finding and understanding the right resources, figuring out who to talk to and how to advocate for themselves. Sounds frustrating, doesn’t it?

Lucky for you, Teamsters Local 987 is on your side. If you have a question about your rights, you already know exactly where to turn and don’t need to worry about being treated differently by anyone at work for asking questions. It’s all part of the union advantage.

If your workplace is not unionized and you have questions, get in touch!

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