Bargaining Unit - Not a Member
CUB 35831 - Claimants contract expired during a strike. She was not a member of the bargaining committee at the time of the strike. The claimant had no intention of renewing her contract due to health reasons. The Commission disentitled the claimant due to a labour dispute. The Umpire found that the claimant could not be considered to have lost her job due to labour dispute since the employment had been severed. The appeal was allowed.
Appellant: Carol Marchand
CUB 48815 - The claimants were not members of a union, but there was a labour dispute involving the union and management, and during that time this claimant, and others, lost his, and their, employment. The claimant had not joined the union for fear that he might lose his seniority. The Commission appeals the Board decision to the Umpire. The appeal is dismissed
Direct Interest - Requirement
CUB 22950 - All claimants had similar circumstances and were non-union, part-time, casual, relief workers, employed on a call-in basis to fill temporary/short term staff vacancies occurring from time to time in 9 Cape Breton Hospitals. All of them lost their jobs by reason of work stoppage, when union members went on strike. All of the appeals were held on the same day in Sydney. It was found that the claimants did not have a direct interest in the labour dispute even though some documentary evidence suggests that casual workers would benefit from the strike and even though the employer at each hospital may choose to increase wages after a new wage settlement was concluded with the unionized workers. As well, it was determined that the claimants were not of the same grade or class of workers. The appeal was allowed.
Appellant: Eleanor Nearing "et al"
CUB 59396 - This was a representative appeal and it involves the claimant, Gino Plamondon, and 15 other persons whose names are listed in Exhibit 13 of the appeal docket. The claimant was employed by Levesque Plywood from May 21 to December 14, 2002. An initial claim was established effective December 15, 2002 but it was later determined by the Commission that the claimant had lost his employment as a result of a work stoppage attributable to a labour dispute. It was pointed out that the part-time employees were paid the minimum salary provided in the Collective Agreement but there was no obligation by the employer to pay this salary or to increase this salary in the event the Collective Agreement raised the salaries of the employees covered by the Agreement. The facts in this case, as far as they relate to possible benefits to the claimant arising from the labour dispute, are to a large extent similar to the factual situations in the following CUB decisions: (Cole (CUB 14021), Mensforth (CUB 12900), Cormier (CUB 14585), and Baronnette (CUB 19771)). In Mensforth, the determination of the issue of whether or not a claimant has a direct interest in a labour dispute is a pure question of fact, depending on all the circumstances of the case. The appeal was dismissed.
CUB 69289 - The claimant filed his initial claim and it was established as of January 29, 2006. Subsequently the Commission determined that the claimant had lost his employment due to a work stoppage attributable to a labor dispute and thus imposed a disentitlement. The claimant acknowledged that he lost his employment because of a work stoppage due to a labor dispute. However he contested that he should be entitled to benefits because he was not participating directly in, directly financing or directly interested in the labor dispute that caused the work stoppage. The claimant's appeal to the Board of Referees was allowed. The Commission appealed this decision arguing that the claimant had a direct interest in the settlement of the labor dispute because the conditions of employment of surge hire employees were a part of negotiations between the employer and the union involved in the dispute. The appeal was dismissed.
Employment Contract - Non-Existent
CUB 26330 - Claimant alleges that provisions of subsection 31(2) entitling him to benefits were met with the expiration of his term teaching contract. - Section 31(1) and 31(2) of the Act. The claimant and 13 others were in similar situation as Mr. William Ferguson. All were members of the British Columbia Teachers Federation and all went on strike when the members of the Peace River North Teachers' Association did. They picketed, received strike pay and paid union dues until June 28, 1991. After that date there were no picket lines to honour. He and the 13 others applied for UI benefits soon there after as their employment contract had expired. Thus, as of the end of June, 1991 they had lost their ability to regain their employment with the Peace River North School District unless that School District agreed to re-employ them - which they had no obligation to do. The Umpire said " they had nothing to either win or lose from the outcome of the labour dispute, at least directly" . The appeal was allowed.
Appellant: William Ferguson "et al"
CUB 67324 - The benefit period was established on the 25th of December, 2005, when the employer closed the plant for the Christmas season with the intention of opening during Christmas if volunteers could be obtained and if not, a return to work would take place on the 3rd of January, 2006. The employer and the employee had been negotiating a new collective agreement as the old one had terminated on the 1st of June, 2004. A strike vote was held on the 28th of December, 2005. The employer had expected that there would have been a vote in favor of a strike. The employer extended the shutdown on January 4 as no agreement had been reached. This continued until the 26th of January, 2006 when the employer locked out the employees after being advised that the employees had voted in favor of a strike. The claimant was entitled to Employment Insurance benefits up to the 3rd of January, 2006. The Commission considered that to be a layoff period. After that date, the Commission took the position that there was a labor dispute which was causing the plant not to open up as no agreement had been reached and a strike vote was likely to be taken. The claimant states that there was no labor dispute until the 26th of January, 2006. The time previous to that was a shutdown by the employer which resulted in a shortage of work and the layoff continued to that date. It was only after the strike vote on the 26th and the lockout by the employer that the dispute actually began. Labor negotiations do not constitute a labor dispute. They decided, because of the Christmas season, they would have a shutdown because they could not obtain enough volunteers and expected to start work again on the 3rd of January. They then made the decision that they would continue the shutdown because they had not reached an agreement. The Commission has not proven that there was a labor dispute in existence up to January 26, 2006. The appeal of the Commission was denied.
Date: December 4, 2006
Picket Line - Honouring
CUB 51543 - The Commission ruled that the claimant and several of his co-workers were not entitled to receive benefits because they lost their employment because of a work stoppage caused by a labour dispute. The sole issue is whether or not the claimant and his co-workers were participating in the dispute. There is a presumption of participation when employees voluntarily honour picket lines. The presumption can be rebutted by evidence that there was no work for the employees if they crossed the picket line or if the employer informs them that they are not needed. Roy Fraser, the plant foreman and a member of Local 170, telephoned the other members of Local 170 and informed them of the picket line and told them not to report to work until further notice. From the view of the claimant and his co-workers it can be looked at that they were just following instructions from their foreman, who in their eyes may have been representing management. There is no evidence that the members of Local 170 made a collective decision to honour the picket line. It is also clear that the company made no attempt to discipline Mr. Fraser or to rescind the direction of the workers. The appeal was allowed
Appellant: Peter Honig " et al"
CUB 62186 - The Commission is appealing the decision from the Board that the claimants, Bruce Fraser et al, are disentitled from receiving benefits because they lost their jobs or were unable to resume their employment due to a work stoppage from a labour dispute, under s.36 of the EI Act. The claimants all started working for the Prince County Hospital in September 2002 under their employer who is a subcontractor. The employment stopped on October 2nd when the bricklayers went on strike and formed a picket line. The claimant's employer stated that all unionized employees honoured the picket line and did not report for work. The Board found that on November 5th the work stoppage ended and the work continued as normal the next day when the bricklayers took down their picket lines. The Commission felt that claimants were not entitled to benefits because they lost their employment because of a work stoppage as a result of a labour dispute. They felt that the claimants participated in the work stoppage by honouring the picket and not going to work. The decision was appealed by the claimants because they stated that they did not cross the picket line for fear of what may have happened to them, in regards to possible violence by the bricklayers and other unions. The Commission ignored the fact the Board accepted the evidence of the carpenters and their representative. The fact that the Board accepted the evidence that showed that the carpenters were fearful of harm and honouring the picket line is reason enough for the Commission's appeal to be denied.
CUB 71466/A-32-09 - The claimant worked for a school district and was deemed not eligible for benefits because she was unable to work as a result of a work stoppage attributable to a labour dispute. The Board determined that the claimant was not prevented from working due to a labour dispute but rather as a result of a political protest carried out by the Provincial Teachers Federation in response to actions of the Provincial Government in legislating a return to work order. The Umpire supported the Board’s decision establishing eligibility for the claimant. The appeal was dismissed.
Replacement Workers - Employers Use Of
CUB 39839 / A-42-98 - The Commission determined that the flight attendants had lost their jobs due to a work stoppage arising from a labour dispute and that they were not eligible for benefits. The employer and unionized employees were in the process of negotiations when the employer hired non-unionized staff which it described as " replacement personel" to take the place of unionized flight attendants. When the laid-off flight attendants submitted claims, the Commission denied them benefits due to a labour dispute. By hiring and training replacement employees, the employer took the measures required to ensure that operations would continue. This constitutes unjust dismissal of a complete sector of the firm. The claimants did not lose their employment due to a work stoppage resulting from a labour dispute and that their right to benefits is restored. Appellant: Carole Thomas " et al "
CUB 73844- The claimants benefit claims were being denied due to a lock-out. The commission determined that the claimant lost her employment due to a work stoppage arising from a labour dispute. The board was clearly able to identify that there was a labour dispute, but not that their was a work stoppage The umpire found that there was no work stoppage, even though there was a labour dispute. The Umpire intervened in the decision of the Board of Referees by restoring the benefits requested by the claimant.