Blurred lines: Managers may have right to bargain collectively

February 26, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Valérie Gareau-Dalpé

In several jurisdictions across Canada, the issue of unionization of managers and supervisors is a thorny one. In many cases, unionization is restricted to “employees,” a definition from which managers are excluded. In the province of Québec, the exclusion is based partly on the potential for conflicts of interest in having managers collectively bargain their own conditions of employment.

In two surprising decisions, the Tribunal administratif du travail of Québec (Tribunal) has questioned the constitutionality of this managerial exclusion under Quebec’s Labour Code. While the decisions stem from an administrative tribunal and have yet to make their way to various appeal processes available through courts, as the case may be, they could have ramifications in other provinces.

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Strangers at the table: Employers may need to accept observers in collective bargaining

December 11, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by David McDonald

In Canada, collective agreements are generally accessible to the public. Canadian jurisdictions provide mechanisms to file collective agreements with government authorities, and it is not uncommon for the union or the employer to post their agreement on the web. However, the process of bargaining itself is private and typically carefully guarded by the parties. This allows for a free flow of information between the parties in order to achieve better negotiations.

In a recent case, a Canadian labor board was faced with a difficult question: What happens when one side tries to bring “observers” to the negotiation table? Surprisingly, the board ruled that observers could have a seat at the table.

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Turning the tables: An arbitrator focuses on an employer’s use of social media

August 21, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Megan Rolland

In Canada, a recent Ontario arbitration decision serves as a cautionary tale for employers who use social media to interact with customers and clients. read more…

Ontario court finds government’s ‘intransigent’ bargaining strategy unconstitutional

June 19, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Chris Pigott

In 2015, we reported on the Supreme Court of Canada’s “New Labour Trilogy”—three landmark constitutional law decisions from January 2015 that called into question basic aspects of Canadian labor law. Those decisions sparked a massive debate in the labor law community as to whether Canadian workers had a brand new set of greatly expanded workplace rights.

Just over one year later, some lower courts appear to be taking the view that the New Labour Trilogy did not reshape Canadian workers’ rights to organize, bargain collectively, and take strike action. read more…

Supreme Court of Canada reshapes labor law (again)

March 08, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by John D.R. Craig, Christopher D. Pigott, and Brandon Wiebe

In the January 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL), the Court found, for the first time, that Canadian workers have a constitutional “right to strike.”

In reaching this conclusion, the Supreme Court overturned almost 30 years of case law that had expressly established that the guarantee of freedom of association in section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect strike activity. read more…