Join a Union

Joining a Union is as easy as 1-2-3


Get in touch, we can share helpful information about unions and how to get started. There’s a union for you, we’ll help you find a match. The first step is understanding the process, getting in touch with an organizer, and getting organized.



Working with your organizer you and your co-workers work together to get people on-board. You each sign union membership cards, confidentially and anonymously. The employer never sees your cards. Once at least 40% of workers have signed cards, your union applies for certification and there’s a vote, usually within a few days.



Now that you’re union is certified you get organized and begin negotiating with your employer. You’re on a path to a collective agreement and a new, stronger voice at the table. The labour movement is still here to help! There’s training, networking, and solidarity at every turn.

Key Union Terms

For those new to unions and how we work, this can all seem a little daunting. We’ve assembled a list of terms that can help you to better understand how unions, negotiations, and organized labour works.

So, if this is all new to you, check out our list of commonly used labour terms.

Buy Union

Know where to go to support union shops in your community.

Visit our ‘Buy Union’ page.

Join the Fed

There’s Strength in Numbers

Individual workers unite to form unions and to get the respect they deserve. Because we all understand that working together is the best way to get those results. Just as workers join to form unions, unions work together at the local, provincial, and national level too.



The Canadian Labour Congress represents the interests of more than three million affiliated workers in every imaginable occupation from coast to coast to coast.

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The Fed is the central voice for Nova Scotia workers; representing thousands of union members, lobbying government for justice and fairness for workers across the province.

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In Nova Scotia there are five community-based Labour Councils chartered by CLC. Labour Councils do work on-the-ground in communities to ensure unions can engage at all levels.

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Members & Retirees


Formed in 2005, NSFUR is made up of and represents the interests of retired workers.

The Nova Scotia Federation of Union Retirees (NSFUR) was formed in 2005. The purpose of the organization is to actively work on behalf of retired workers and their families to make improvements on issues important to them.

We are involved in municipal, provincial and federal campaigns dealing with issues relevant to retirees. Currently we are working on campaigns seeking improvements to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and the Pharmacare Program. We are also affiliated with the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC).

NSFUR is in the process of creating provincial area councils to provide retirees more opportunities to participate in campaigns in their regions.

The NSFUR provides a voice and a vehicle for retirees. Membership cost $12 per year.

Larry Wark,

Chairperson, NSFUR



Assistance, Advice, Education and Advocacy to and for injured workers.

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The Fed offers bursaries to members and the children of members.

  • Bursaries: The Fed offers six $1,000 bursaries to full-time students entering or returning to post-secondary studies.
  • Lighting the Way: The Fed’s workplace education program. Empowering workers through education.
  • Alex MacDonald Award: In memory of Brother Alex MacDonald this award acknowledges a commitment to workplace education.