ONCA Affirms that OLRB does not have "Superpowers"

Time Published on July 18, 2012

Ontario's top court has affirmed that when the Labour Board sits as arbitrator under s. 133 it must respect, not ignore, the language of the collective agreement.

Tag construction labour relations,  labour relations

Conservatives Propose Dramatic Overhaul of Ontario Labour and Workers' Compensation Laws

Time Published on June 27, 2012

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party is proposing significant changes to Ontario’s labour and workers’ compensation legislation which, if enacted, would dramatically alter the legal landscape. In a White Paper entitled “Paths to Prosperity: Flexible Labour Markets” the Party outlines a number of proposals which it says are necessary to ensure Ontario is able to compete in the global marketplace.

Tag labour relations

ONCA Rules Exclusion of RCMP from Collective Bargaining Regime Constitutional

Time Published on June 11, 2012

In a decision that will all but certainly find its way to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) has ruled that the exclusion of RCMP members from the collective bargaining regime established by the Federal Public Service Labour Relations Act (the “PLSRA”) is constitutional.

Tag constitutional law,  labour relations

The Supreme Court to Lay Down the Law on Random Alcohol Testing

Time Published on April 03, 2012

The Supreme Court recently granted leave to appeal a decision regarding a random alcohol testing policy out of a paper mill near the City of Saint John in New Brunswick.

Tag employment law,  labour relations,  privacy

Minor Change to the OLRB's Rules of Procedure could have a Major Impact

Time Published on March 14, 2012

A change to the OLRB's Rules of Procedure could have a favourable impact on OHS reprisal complaint proceedings.

Tag labour relations,  occupational health and safety

OLRB Does not Have "Superpowers," Divisional Court Holds

Time Published on October 31, 2011

Ontario’s Divisional Court has overturned a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (the “OLRB”), in which the OLRB took jurisdiction as arbitrator over a grievance in the construction industry under section 133 of the Act.

Section 133 provides that, “despite the grievance and arbitration provisions in a [construction industry] collective agreement,” a party may refer a grievance to the OLRB, instead of to a private arbitrator under the collective agreement.

Although the collective agreement’s time limits for referring a grievance to arbitration had expired several months before the union applied to the OLRB pursuant to section 133, the OLRB found that it could take jurisdiction over the grievance.  The OLRB has, over several decades, issued decisions which either broadly or strictly interpreted its power to take jurisdiction over a grievance under similar circumstances.

Tag labour relations

Court Enjoins Unlawful Canada Post Worker Picketing

Time Published on June 22, 2011

In an urgent motion heard on June 16, 2011, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered Canada Post Workers’ union, the CUPW, to refrain, for a period of 10 days, from preventing, blocking, or obstructing any person from entering the a key Ottawa mail sorting facility on foot.

Tag labour relations

Mayor Ford to privatize police janitorial jobs in ongoing campaign to contract out

Time Published on June 20, 2011

Mayor Rob Ford is planning to privatize many police janitorial jobs in his ongoing campaign to contract out city services.  He notified the heads of CUPE Local 79 and Local 416 in a letter on June 15, 2011 that the City of Toronto plans to make adjustments to the manner in which custodial services are provided to the City, in particular he warned that the Toronto Police Services Board had requested that the City look into private options.  This is Mayor Ford’s second major step in his plan to cut the City’s workforce. Just last month, City Council had a vote in favour of contracting out garbage collection in the West end of the City.

Tag labour relations

Supreme Court issues Decision in Fraser

Time Published on April 29, 2011

In a long awaited ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada has issued its decision in Ontario (Attorney General) v. Fraser. In 2002 the Ontario Government passed the Agricultural Employees Protection Act, 2002 (the “AEPA”).  The UFCW, among others, challenged the AEPA as unconstitutional because it permits farm workers to form employee associations and gives them certain rights to bargain collectively, but they continue to be excluded from union representation under the Ontario Labour Relations Act, 1995.

Tag labour relations

TTC an "Essential Service"

Time Published on March 31, 2011

Responding to a request from Toronto’s City Council, Ontario has passed Bill 150 which bans strikes and lockouts by TTC employees. First reading of the bill was in February of this year and it passed yesterday, March 30, 2011, by the government of Ontario. The new act, The Toronto Transit Commission Labour Disputes Resolution Act, 2011 (the “Act”), outlines new collective bargaining rules that must be followed when the parties are unable to negotiate an agreement.

Tag labour relations

Can Courts Force Businesses to Stay Open?

Time Published on February 26, 2010

The Supreme Court of Canada (”SCC”) recently weighed in on an interesting point of law: to what extent can the courts force a business to stay open

The business in this case was the famous Wal-Mart store located in Jonquiere, Quebec that was the first Wal-Mart to unionize in North America.  Five months after certification, the company decided to shut down its store and terminate the employment of 190 workers on the same day the parties’ first collective agreement dispute was referred to arbitration by Quebec’s labour minister.

Tag labour relations