Six Questions About Neutrality Agreements (and Some Answers)

11 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2009

Date Written: April 14, 2009


Neutrality Agreements are contracts between unions and employers that regulate the conduct of the parties in the event that a union organizing campaign commences at one or more of the employers work sites. They tend to grant unions entitlements that are superior to those available under applicable labour laws. Common terms include union access to employee lists and to the workplace in order to communicate with workers and promises by the employers to voluntarily recognize the union once the union obtained written support from a majority of workers, thereby bypassing the legislative model of mandatory union recognition votes. Neutrality agreements have a long history in the U.S., but our relatively new to Canada. This short paper briefly explores the background of these agreements and considers in the Canadian context six common legal questions that often arise in relation to these agreements.

Keywords: labour law, labor law, employment law, labor relations, neutrality agreements, Canada, unions, collective bargaining

JEL Classification: K31, L52, K10, J50, J53, J51, J52, J58

Suggested Citation

Doorey, David J., Six Questions About Neutrality Agreements (and Some Answers) (April 14, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

David J. Doorey (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3


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