I worked at a place where management periodically made announcements on how to contact the union and that no retaliation would happen for doing so. One once mentioned that a person found to have retaliated against a union member for contacting the union will basically be black listed from the industry (the union was international and had agreements with other unions). Is this legal? Would such a person need to be given warning or severance? I guess an employer who signs a union agreement could agree not to employee any person listed on a black list.

  • Don't know about Canada in particular, but being a member of an union shall never be a reason to blacklist or even fire someone. Labor laws typically explicitly state that employees are allowed to join any party or union as they want.
    – PMF
    Apr 25, 2022 at 18:49
  • 1
    @PMF "being a member of an union shall never be a reason to blacklist or even fire someone." Yes, but that is not the question. The OP asks whether it is lawful to blacklist the retaliator. Apr 26, 2022 at 22:52
  • @IñakiViggers Thanks for pointing that out, after reading it a second time I got that understanding as well. Boils down to asking whether blacklisting somebody (suspected of) illegal activity is legal.
    – PMF
    Apr 27, 2022 at 6:36

1 Answer 1


A union cannot fire an employee (except a person who is an employee of the union), but an employer can. Section 246.1(1) of the Canada Labour Code prohibits a federally regulated employer from taking an adverse action against an employee, if they exercising specific rights granted under Part III. Those rights generally relate to wages, scheduling and leaves, for example 173.01(5):

(5) An employer shall not dismiss, suspend, lay off, demote or discipline an employee because the employee has refused to work a work period or shift under subsection (2) or take such a refusal into account in any decision to promote or train the employee.

Since there is no protected right to retaliate against another employee, the employer is not legally prohibited from retaliating against the retaliator, at least under Canadian law. There are also labo(u)r laws for provinces and territories, but it is unlikely that retaliation is a protected right in any part of Canada. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms asserts that freedom of association is a fundamental right, and it is reported that it violates provincial labor laws to retaliate against an employee for joining a union.

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