What is Just Cause protection?

Back to Blog

July 13, 2023

Just Cause protection is one of the benefits of being a Union member.

Just Cause is a legal term that means there must be a justifiable reason to fire someone covered by a collective agreement. All agreements at UFCW Locals 175 & 633 have this benefit and protection for Union members. It is one of the most basic rights when you belong to a Union.

What does job security through Just Cause protection bring?

Less stress! You have reliable income and work hours.

Did we say less stress? You can plan your finances, your vacations, and more when you are not worried that you won’t have a job to go to tomorrow.

Improved health. If you are less stressed, your health is better.

Improved job performance. Funny huh? Workers who are less stressed do better work. Imagine that!

From retail workers to delivery drivers, fast food employees to building service providers, if you do not belong to a Union, your job security can be fragile.

As precarious work and temp agencies have become more common, having a stable job is more important than ever. Many agreements negotiated at UFCW Locals 175 & 633 have specific language to deal with agency work. This helps stop agency employees from replacing unionized employees. It protects the unionized workers jobs. Just Cause is just one of the ways belonging to a Union can get you some job security.

Really, job security is everything – and just cause protection can help provide that security.

Without a Union, workers do not benefit from this protection. Out there in the non-Union workforce, employers can fire you for pretty much anything as long as it doesn’t violate your Human Rights.

With a collective agreement, if you are doing your work and not violating your terms of employment, there can be no reprisals against you. If an employer terminates a Unionized employee for no real reason, that employee can file a grievance. The burden of proof is on the employer to provide a justifiable reason to fire someone.

Just Cause does not mean that you can do anything you want and not be fired. But it does mean that the employer has to prove they have a good reason to let you go.

So, Just Cause means the employer must prove the fired employee did something to violate the agreed terms of their employment.

This kind of Job Security is just one of the protections that comes from being a Union member.

In fact, as soon as you start an Organizing Drive to bring the benefit of Union membership to you and your co-workers, your job gains better protection. Your employer cannot fire you for taking part in a Union drive or Union-related activities. UFCW Locals 175 & 633 follows through with the Ontario Labour Relations Board with charges against employers who violate your rights in this way.

Want to find out more about how to become a Union member with UFCW Locals 175 & 633?

  • Contact our Organizing Team! Ask questions and discuss your concerns. Your conversations with our team are confidential.
  • Sign a confidential UFCW Locals 175 & 633 Union card. Speak to your co-workers about signing a card too.
  • Vote to have UFCW Locals 175 & 633 be Your Union.
  • Participate in creating your first UFCW Locals 175 & 633 collective agreement. Elect a negotiating committee, make proposals, and most importantly, VOTE.

Our team can answer any questions you have about how to join and what to expect. Your conversations with our team are confidential. Email organizing@ufcw175.com or call 1-800-565-8329 and ask to speak to our Organizers.