May 9, 1964 was a proud day for all employees who had
fought for years to form a Union to represent the employees at Gates. This was
the historical day our Local received our Charter from the U.R.W. Many efforts
had been made to organize Gates employees with many set backs. In 1958, 6
employees of Gates sat down to discuss the forming of a Union. As a result of
these discussion, they contacted the Brantford and District Labour Council for
assistance and were put in touch with the United rubber Workers Office.
An organizing committee was formed and commenced signing up members. In 1959,
an application for certification was made to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
The application was later withdrawn due to insufficient signed cards. (it was
felt that the poor response to signing membership cards was due to the Company
introducing piece work)
A second campaign to organize Gates employees would also result in an
application for certification. The Ontario Labour Relations Board ordered a vote
at the plant. The vote was held on April 28, 1960 and the certification for a
Union was defeated.
The third attempt to organize the Gates employees resulted in yet another
vote ordered by the O.L.R.B. This vote ended in a tie, thus defeating the
certification application. (The Company introduced profit sharing during this
In 1963, the Organizing Committee started another campaign that ended in
automatic certification being granted be the O.L.R.B. The certification date was
February 18, 1964.
WE FINALLY HAD OUR UNION !!