The CSN was founded more than 100 years ago. Its first major struggle was led by women working in the match-making industry in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, at a time when most unions were not interested in organizing women workers.A hundred years later, the CSN is made up of nearly 1,600 unions and provides a wide range of services and supports to more than 330,000 workers across Canada. Our agreement with the CSN gives us access to unparalleled services, which are all included with our union dues.

The Services

What services are included with the CSN?

Collective bargaining and Labour Relations support ​

The CSN ensures that an experienced union advisor is assigned to our union for collective bargaining, enforcement of the union contract, and general strengthening of our organization, the THEU–CSN. We at the THEU-CSN finally have a real opportunity to negotiate our own Collective Agreement, based on our own, democratically determined priorities. Every step will be transparent for all the members.


Access to union training on various practical subjects for members, such as grievance procedures, shop steward training, health and safety, mobilization, and much more is a part of the bigger picture with the CSN. Training allows us to grow, get stronger, and have a more informed membership.

Mobilization support ​

The access to experienced advisors who provide support during bargaining rounds is extremely beneficial. These advisors partner with our leaders and workplace committees to implement action plans and encourage broad member participation in union affairs. A core value for CSN unions is that workers need to be able to stand up to their employers in order to ensure that we get fair treatment at work. We need our employers to know that when we go to the bargaining table, we’re willing to back it up with tough action to get our demands met. The CSN ensures that we have the support that allows us to do so.

Strike and Professional Defense Fund ​

Access to the CSN Professional Defence Fund is a unique and powerful tool. This fund exists to support and assist workers and their CSN affiliate union when they face a strike or lockout, or are engaged in an organizing drive. This fund is used to assist workers financially who belong to a union that is affiliated with or in the process of being organized by the CSN, and who have been dismissed or suspended for union activities related to organizing, strikes, lockouts, or participation in pressure tactics decided upon by the union.

Occupational Health and Safety ​

There is direct access to professional advice and training to meet the needs of our members in the performance of their OH&S functions, as well as to facilitate decision-making and union representation. The CSN Health & Safety Department is a team of more than 30 people who work in three different fields of action: prevention, defence of injured persons, and environmental issues. Specifically, there are union advisors specialized in representing workers dealing with workers’ compensation issues (WSIB or industrial accidents/diseases). These include industrial engineers, mental health professionals, and ergonomists. All of this helps to make our workplaces safer and to ensure that our rights are respected and that we receive all of the supports that we are entitled to when sick or injured.

Legal services support ​

Access to the CSN’s legal department – the largest union legal department in Canada is a major benefit of being part of the CSN.  The department is made up of a team of about 25 lawyers who work solely for the CSN and are dedicated to defending workers’ rights. They plead cases before all courts and in every province, up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada.  We also collaborate with a law firm that specializes in Ontario labour relations that assist us in obtaining, preserving, protecting, and enforcing our bargaining rights. The CSN also provides criminal representation when your employer does not provide the legal support that you are entitled to in the performance of your work.

Communications and Media Relations support ​

Through the CSN, we have access to specialized advisors in communications, public relations, and media relations. These advisors’ role is to help raise awareness in the media about our union demands. They also provide support to CSN affiliate unions for internal communications and social media development.

Bookkeeping and accounting support

We have access to advisors to provide support related to bookkeeping, as well as accountants to help prepare transparent financial statements and verify the financial health of our union. Also access to professionals available to work directly with our treasurer, as necessary is available. In CSN unions, the finances of the union are always transparent and available to the members.

We Are The CSN

Although the THEU is autonomous, it doesn't mean we are alone.

THEU is affiliated with the CSN. CSN stands for Confédération des syndicats nationaux (Confederation of National Trade Unions) – one of the largest trade union federations in Canada, with more than 330,000 members. 

The word “confederation” is important because it is at the centre of what the CSN offers its member unions – including the THEU. We are autonomous, but we also work together and support one another. 

Each of the CSN’s more than 1,600 member unions has full control over their own legal rights, bargaining priorities, finances, and more. At the same time, as members of the confederation, we are all able to access a wide range of services and supports to help us achieve the goals decided upon by our members. 

It truly is the best of both worlds – local autonomy for hotel and hospitality workers in Toronto, backed up by the power that comes from a democratic organization with hundreds of thousands of members.