Know Your Rights
All workers in Manitoba have the right to a safe working environment free from harassment and discrimination. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for those rights to be violated by either one’s management or fellow co-workers. For that reason it’s important to know where to turn when you think your labour rights have been breached. If you have any reason to believe that your labour or human rights have been violated while working or being hired, start off by taking detailed notes and/or recordings of the incident and all conversations surrounding it with your employer. Based on the incident itself, there are three government bodies you can turn to:
Manitoba Labour Board
Most workplaces in Manitoba fall under provincial jurisdiction and are regulated by the Manitoba Labour Board. The MLB ensures that minimum employment standards are being met and has the power to hold employers accountable for violating them. If you have reason to believe that your labour rights have been violated or employment standards are not being met you can call the Manitoba Labour Board at 204-945-3352 in Winnipeg and 1-800-821-4307 for everywhere else in Manitoba. Click here to find out more about what your entitlements and responsibilities are as a worker in Manitoba!
Workplace Health and Safety
You have the right to refuse unsafe work! In Manitoba, Workplace Health and Safety regulates nearly all of the workplaces across the province. If you believe that your employer is violating health and safety codes you can report unsafe working conditions at 204-957-SAFE (7233) in Winnipeg or toll-free at 1-855-957-SAFE (7233). Click here to learn more about Workplace Health and Safety codes in Manitoba.
The Manitoba Human Rights Commission
Discrimination and oppression in the workplace is illegal. The Manitoba Human Rights Code ensures recourse for workers who have experienced discrimination in the course of either hiring or working; this includes harassment, sexual or otherwise, and a failure on the part of the employer to remove any unreasonable burdens or barriers to employment – it is their duty to accommodate. Click here to find more information about the Code’s guidelines and click here to learn about how to file a complaint.
If you work for the federal government or in certain federally regulated areas (such as banks, airports or radio/television broadcasting) the Canada Labour Code and/or your workplace collective agreement protects your rights. Learn more about federal labour standards here
Why Join a Union
More and more students have jobs while going to school. Typically, these jobs are low paying and often involve shift work and no protection of your rights. Just as students need a students’ union to support and defend education, working students need labour unions to protect their rights and win better working conditions.
It is Your Right to Join a Union
The Manitoba Labour Relations Code protects your right to join, support and organize a union. If you are harassed or intimidated because you support a union, call the Manitoba Labour Relations Board right away. When workers want to join a union, bosses will often try to intimidate them. You don’t have to put up with this, as employers are not allowed to interfere in workers’ democratic organizing through a union.
Click here to learn more about the process of unionizing from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) – one of several unions that represents many workplaces students are employed.