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Labour Arbitrations

Unionized employee awarded over $500,000 in total damages for bad faith dismissal

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Transportation

The Canadian labour and employment law community has taken notice of the decision in Greater Toronto Airports Authority and Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 0004 (No. GV-008-04, O.B. Shime, QC, February 24, 2010), much the same way it did of:

In Greater Toronto, the arbitrator awarded a 47 year-old unionized employee over $500,000 in total damages because the employer had acted unreasonably and in bad faith in terminating her employment.  read more »

Making single mother work night shifts not discrimination based on family status, Alberta arbitration board rules

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

A three-person Alberta arbitration board has ruled that making a single mother of a 11 year-old work 30 or so night shifts a year is not discrimination based on family status. The case is Government of Alberta (Solicitor General Department) and Alberta Union of Provincial Employees ("Jungwirth Grievance") (February 15, 2010).

As it relates the law in this unsettled area, the board stated:  read more »

The Top Ten Canadian Court Decisions on Arbitration

In addition to presenting an audio conference on the "Top Ten" Canadian employment law and wrongful dismissal cases (see my previous post), Lancaster House recently presented on the "Top Ten Canadian Court Cases on Arbitration". Again, in no particular order, the cases and the issues they address, are:  read more »

Lancaster House announces 2010 Calgary Labour Arbitration and Policy Conference

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Lancaster House has announced the details of its 2010 Calgary Labour Arbitration and Policy Conference. The conference will be held on June 10 and 11, 2010 at the Westin Calgary. It will be co-chaired by Arbitrator John Moreau, union counsel Leanne Chahley (Blair Chahley) and employer counsel, Barbara Johnston (Stikeman Elliott LLP). Early bird rates are available until Februry 12, 2010. More information can be found here.

BC Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to undertake, directly, judicial review of labour arbitrators' decisions

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Forestry

A five judge panel of the BC Court of Appeal ruled in Northstar Lumber v. United Steelworkers of America, Local No. 1-424, 2009 BCCA 17, that the BC Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to undertake, directly, the judicial review of labour arbitrators' decisions.

While the five justices were in agreement on the outcome, separate reasons were written by Justice Chiasson (concurred by Justice Lowry), Justice Saunders (concurred by Justice Levine) and Justice Hall (who concurred with both Justices Chiasson and Saunders).

Background

The underlying facts of the case concerned the dismissal of night watchman at the appellant company's mill. The night watchman was represented by the United Steelworkers. The matter ended up in arbitration pursuant to the collective agreement. The arbitrator agreed that the company had just cause, but substituted a five month suspension for the dismissal.  read more »

BC Court of Appeal further defines standard of review for arbitrations under the Canada Labour Code

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

In a case handed down last week, the BC Court of Appeal further defined the standard of review that applies to a labour arbitrator's decision, in light of the Supreme Court of Canada's (SCC's) decision in Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, 2008 SCC 9.

The employer in this case was a federally regulated trucking company, meaning that the Canada Labour Code was the governing legislation.

In response to a judicial reveiw application, the BC Supreme Court had set aside the arbitrator's decision as it related to the scope of the grievance, and remitted the matter back to the arbitrator.

On appeal by the employer, the BC Court of Appeal noted that in Dunsmuir the SCC had concluded that there were now only two standards of review: correctness and reasonableness. The SCC further noted that, based on the jurisprudence, the reasonableness standard applies where:  read more »