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11 Canadian Lab. & Emp. L.J. 259 (2004)
An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of the Change from Card-Check to Mandatory Vote Certification

handle is hein.journals/canlemj11 and id is 279 raw text is: An Empirical Analysis of the Effects
of the Change from Card-Check to
Mandatory Vote Certification
Sara Slinn *
This article explores the effect of a legislated change in certifica-
tion procedure in Ontario in 1995, from a card-check system to a
mandatory vote system. The author concludes that introduction of
mandatory votes had a highly significant negative effect on the probabil-
ity of certification. In addition, the influence of particular factors on the
likelihood of certification, such as the size of the bargaining unit,
whether it was in the public or private sector the extent of delay, and the
degree of voter turnout in election cases was substantially different
under the two procedures. Finally, statistically significant differences
were found in the characteristics of applicants and in the characteristics
of units for which certification was granted.
Traditionally, labour legislation in most Canadian jurisdictions
permitted certification if the applicant union could prove that a clear
majority of employees in the proposed bargaining unit had signed
membership cards. Representation votes were held only where the
level of initial support fell short of the required threshold. However, in
recent years there has been a shift away from such card-check certifi-
cation procedures and toward the requirement that the union win a
representation election in every case. This legislative change has been
the subject of vigorous debate within the labour relations community,
and has been described as Americanizing the certification process.'
* Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen's University. I would like to thank
Doug Hyatt, Bruce Pardy, Michael Lynk and Bernard Adell for their valuable
comments on this article.
1 Until July 1939, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board had a practice of grant-
ing certification without a representation election. However, in Cudahy Packing
Co., 13 N.L.R.B. 526 (1939), the Board decided that, from then on, a vote would
be the exclusive means by which employees could opt for union representation.

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