Union successorship

Sometimes unions merge or reorganize themselves. The bargaining rights the unions held before the change can transfer to the merged or reorganized union (called the successor union). The transfer of bargaining rights from the original union (called the predecessor union) to the successor union is known as a union successorship.

There are three ways a union successorship may happen:

  1. A merger of two unions
  2. An amalgamation of several unions
  3. A transfer of jurisdiction from one union to another

To have this change recognized by the Labour Relations Board, the successor union can make an application to the Board. This applies to certified and voluntarily recognized bargaining rights.

The Board considers whether the predecessor and successor union are both trade unions under the Labour Relations Code.

The Board will next consider if the predecessor union has the authority to transfer its bargaining rights to the successor. The Board will also confirm that the successor union has the authority to receive the transfer. That authority could be found in the unions' constitution or by-laws, but this is not required.

If they are trade unions under the Code, the Board will consider whether

  1. the affected employees were given a chance to express their wishes on whether to merge, amalgamate, or transfer the bargaining rights, and
  2. a majority of them agreed to the merger, amalgamation or transfer of bargaining rights.

If not, the Board may order a vote. A vote may be counted membership wide. It doesn't have to be held bargaining unit-by-unit.

If the Board decides there is a successorship, it may declare the successor union is now the exclusive bargaining agent. The successor union will bargain with the employer, inherit the collective agreement, and inherit any outstanding grievances. However, not all the bargaining units represented by the union need to be included in the successorship. It is possible to have a successorship with only some bargaining units. This is called a partial successorship.

In addition to the Board deciding whether to order a vote among the employees, it may also decide the date the successorship comes into effect.

To apply for union successorship:

  1. Complete Form 37: Application for Union Successorship


  1. Submit the application by email, mail, or courier
  2. Serve the other party as set out in the Rules
  3. Pay the filing fee

Filing by email? The Board only accepts supporting information in PDF, MP3, or MP4 format. Supporting information cannot be provided by a file-share link at this time.


This page was last updated: 2023-05-03

Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for general purposes only and is not legal advice. This information is subject to the Labour Relations Code, the Labour Relations Board Rules, the Labour Relations Regulation and the published decisions of the Board

The Labour Relations Board acknowledges the territories of the many diverse Indigenous Peoples in the geographic area we serve. With gratitude and respect, we acknowledge that the Board’s office is located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.