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Process and important details

A union vote begins on the first working day of the 11th month preceding the date that a collective agreement expires, and ends 20 days later. It is a vote that takes place by mail, so that workers can vote in complete confidentiality.

The main steps in the union vote

  1. The sending of notices confirming workers’ voter or participant status
    At the latest 15 days before the vote is held

    Votes by workers with “voter” status determine their union allegiance. Their votes are used to calculate the union representativeness of the association that they choose

    To be a voter, 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 defined in section 30 of Act R-20, or about a one-year period preceding the vote.
    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 during the period defined in section 30 of Act R-20, or about a one-year period preceding the vote
      OR
    • Hold an exemption from holding a JCC, ACC, or OCC
      OR 
    • Hold a registration certificate (interprovincial agreements
  2. The raiding period
    From the first day of the 12th month preceding the date that a collective agreement expires until the day preceding the beginning of the voting period

    During the raiding period, the union associations have the right to solicit workers to join their membership. Strict rules govern union raiding activities. The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) investigates all situations deemed noncompliant that it observes or that are reported to it.

  3. The voting period
    Begins on the first working day of the 11th month preceding the date that a collective agreement expires, and ends 20 days later

    Before the voting period, all workers with the right to vote (voter or participant status) receive a voting kit.

    To make sure that their ballot is valid, workers must follow certain instructions.

    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.”

  4. The vote count
    Begins on the working day following the voting period

    After the CCQ has completed the vote count, 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 until 30 days after the end of the vote 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. Coming into effect of the new union allegiances
    The first day of the eighth month preceding the date that a collective agreement expires

    The union allegiance recorded in a worker’s file is valid for a period of four years.