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Our Mission

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Addressing Workplace Discrimination Legislation

Current Canadian labour legislation prevents nearly a third of working Canadians from accessing the civil court system should they encounter harassment, discrimination or other unfair treatment in the workplace.


While non-unionized Canadians have the right to seek legal resolution in civil court should they encounter abuses of this kind at work, this same right is not available to unionized workers - their cases are wholly controlled by organizations that are susceptible to conflicts of interest (1), and lack of accountability and transparency (2).


1 Widiss, D. (2012). Divergent Interests: Union Representation of Individual Employment Discrimination Claims. Indiana Law Journal, 87(1), Article 22

2 Canadian labour unions’ grievance statistics and records are not publicly available

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Informing the Public

Unionized workers in Canada who experience bullying, discrimination, or other unfair treatment in the workplace lost their right to seek resolution through our civil court system in 1995 (1). Union officials and employers are the sole “owners” of a worker’s grievance (2); the unionized worker has no legal right to be involved in the management of their own case. For affected union members this can feel like being further victimized.


Should union officials misrepresent the case, the only option available to the worker member is to file a Duty of Fair Representation (DFR) complaint with their provincial Labour Relations Board (3). 


1 Weber v. Ontario Hydro [1995] SCC

2 Canadian Merchant Service Guild v. Gagnon et al. [1984] SCC

3 N.S. Trade Union Act, 2005

The "WTH?" Statistics

Union Duty of Fair Representation (DFR) complaints that have succeeded, nationally

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Mitchnick, M. as cited in Levitt, 2016, Finiancial Post (in National Post)

DFR complaints that have succeeded with the N.S. Labour Board (of 232 complaints from 2007-2018)

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N.S Freedom of Information request

Link to FOI confirmation emails

Discrimination complaints that have succeeded with the NS Human Rights Commission

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N.S. HRC Annual Reports, and (www.canlii.org/en/ns/nshrc)

Our Ask

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Call for Public Inquiry

We are asking for a public inquiry into: 

  • the barriers facing unionized workers seeking fair resolution to discrimination and other unfair treatment in the workplace, and; 
  • the troubling statistics which show that the promises of fair process offered by our current system of addressing cases of workplace discrimination are not being kept. 

Get more details

Your Story Matters

Shannon's Story

YOur Stories

Shannon's Hunger Strike

Victoria Park September 24th (first 2 weeks) then Saint Mary's University to October 21st, 2018

Media interest is a necessary component of expedient legislative action and change. Shannon is hopeful that her chosen form of protest will encourage media interest for that purpose.


*Shannon has recently voluntarily undergone a full mental health assessment to provide the public assurance of her mental wellness.

Read Shannon's 2018 Mental health Assessment

City of Halifax By-laws

Halifax Regional Municipality Bylaw P-600 requires the removal of protest shelters from public property between the hours of 9pm and 5am. 


During the hours she's not permitted on public property, Shannon will be stationed in our 'Small Fry Big Mission' sleeper van. Look for our logo! 

Donations will be used to help fund The Workplace Harassment Project. 

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