Canadian Merchant Service Guild (applicant) v. Teamsters ... - Slaw

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Canadian Merchant Service Guild (applicant) v. Teamsters ... - Slaw

Canadian Merchant Service Guild (applicant) v. Teamsters, Local Union 847 (respondent)

(A-391-11; 2012 FCA 210; 2012 CAF 210)

Indexed As: Canadian Merchant Service Guild v. Teamsters, Local Union 847

Federal Court of Appeal

Noël, Trudel and Mainville, JJ.A.

July 24, 2012.

Summary:

The Teamsters, Local Union 847, applied to become certified as bargaining agent in

replacement of the Canadian Merchant Service Guild. Three members of the Guild actively

supported the Teamsters. The Guild won the representation vote and brought charges under its

bylaws against the three members. The Teamsters submitted a complaint of unfair labour

practices pursuant to s. 97(1) of the Canada Labour Code. The Canada Industrial Relations

Board found that the Guild had breached s. 95(i)(i) of the Code when it commenced the

charges. The Guild applied for judicial review. The principal question was whether the

Teamsters, as a rival union, had standing to file the complaint against the Guild.

The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the Guild's application. The Board's decision to

allow the Teamsters' complaint to proceed was reasonable in the circumstances.

Administrative Law - Topic 3347

Judicial review - General - Practice - Parties (incl. standing) - The Federal Court of Appeal

stated that "[t]he concept of standing is simple, though its application may be difficult in

any given circumstance. The concept requires that only those with a real and legitimate

interest in a matter may initiate a judicial or administrative proceeding, or obtain notice of

and fully participate in such a proceeding. A real and legitimate interest exists where a

party's legal rights or obligations are at issue, or where it may be prejudicially affected in

some way by the outcome of the proceeding ... The inquiry as to standing thus necessarily

entails a review of a party's interests and rights in order to ascertain whether such interests

could be prejudiced or whether such rights could be affected by the proceeding. This

requires consideration of both the factual situation leading to a claim of prejudice as well

as consideration of the legal rights which may be affected" - See paragraphs 20 and 21.

Labour Law - Topic 576

Labour relations boards and judicial review - Judicial review - Standard of review - [See

Labour Law - Topic 3641].

Labour Law - Topic 2164

Unions - Legal status or capacity - As a party to an action or other proceeding - [See all

Labour Law - Topic 3662].

Labour Law - Topic 2183

Unions - Complaints against - Time for - [See Labour Law - Topic 3665].


Labour Law - Topic 2563

Unions - Members' rights or liabilities - Right to change unions - Section 95(i)(i) of the

Canada Labour Code prohibited a trade union from imposing "a financial or other penalty

on a person, because that person ... has ... participated ... in a proceeding under" Part I of

the Code - The Canada Industrial Relations Board decided that the applicant Guild had

breached s. 95(i)(i) when it commenced charges under its bylaws against three of its

members arising from their participation in an unsuccessful campaign by the respondent, a

rival union, to displace the Guild as the bargaining agent - The Guild applied for judicial

review on various grounds, including that the Board misinterpreted and misapplied s. 95(i)

(i) - The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed that ground - The Guild acknowledged at the

hearing before the court that the respondent's application for certification was a proceeding

under the Code, and that the three concerned individuals were fined or suspended by the

Guild for participating in the proceeding - The Board's reasoning was fully compatible

with s. 95(i)(i), recognizing "the basic right of individuals to belong to the trade union of

their choice, the right of union members to attempt to change their bargaining agent from

time to time in the manner and in accordance with the timelines provided for in the Code,

and the right of such individuals not to be disciplined or penalized for exercising such

rights" - See paragraph 16.

Labour Law - Topic 2663

Unions - Right to solicit - Raiding - [See Labour Law - Topic 2563].

Labour Law - Topic 3641

Unions - Unfair labour practices - Judicial review - General - The Canada Industrial

Relations Board decided that the applicant Guild had breached s. 95(i)(i) of the Canada

Labour Code when it commenced charges under its bylaws against three of its members

arising from their participation in an unsuccessful campaign by the respondent Teamsters

union, to displace the Guild as the bargaining agent - The Guild applied for judicial review

- The principal question was whether the Teamsters, as a rival union, had standing to file

the complaint under s. 97(1) of the Code - The Guild submitted that the issue of standing

was jurisdictional, to be reviewed on a standard of correctness - The Federal Court of

Appeal disagreed - "Whether or not a union has standing to bring a complaint under the

Code is not, in my view, a 'true question of jurisdiction or vires', but rather an issue which

involves the interpretation of the Code in the context of inextricably intertwined factual

determinations" - See paragraph 19 - "In the labour relations context of these proceedings,

the inquiry as to standing requires the Board to determine whether or not the Teamsters'

interests under the Code could be prejudiced if the complaint was not pursued, or if their

rights under the Code could be affected. In my view, this is precisely the type of issue for

which the Board is best suited to answer under the Code. I will therefore review the

question of standing on a standard of reasonableness" - See paragraph 21.

Labour Law - Topic 3662

Unions - Unfair labour practices - Practice - Parties (incl. standing) - The Federal Court of

Appeal stated that "[w]here a trade union makes a complaint under subsection 97(1) of the

[Canada Labour] Code seeking relief from reprisals against the individuals who assisted it

in an otherwise legitimate certification proceeding, it is reasonable for the Board to infer


that the trade union has the authority to make the complaint for the individuals, unless

evidence to the contrary is submitted. This is so whether the reprisals are the result of

actions taken by the employer or by the rival union" - See paragraphs 22 and 23.

Labour Law - Topic 3662

Unions - Unfair labour practices - Practice - Parties (incl. standing) - The Teamsters, Local

Union 847, applied to become certified as bargaining agent in replacement of the Canadian

Merchant Service Guild - Three members of the Guild actively supported the Teamsters -

The Guild brought charges under its bylaws against the three members - The Teamsters

submitted a complaint of unfair labour practices pursuant to s. 97(1) of the Canada Labour

Code, and sought various remedies - The Canada Industrial Relations Board found that the

Guild had breached s. 95(i)(i) of the Code when it commenced the charges - The Guild

applied for judicial review - The principal question was whether the Teamsters, as a rival

union, had standing to file the complaint - The Federal Court of Appeal held that the

Board's decision to allow the complaint to proceed was reasonable - "[T]he individual

should be presumed to be represented for the purposes of the complaint by the trade union

he or she supported during the certification process, given that this trade union also has a

vital interest in the complaint, and that this interest coincides with that of the individual" -

See paragraphs 24 to 26.

Labour Law - Topic 3662

Unions - Unfair labour practices - Practice - Parties (incl. standing) - The Canada Industrial

Relations Board decided that the applicant Guild had breached s. 95(i)(i) of the Canada

Labour Code when it commenced charges under its bylaws against three of its members

arising from their participation in an unsuccessful campaign by the respondent, a rival

union, to displace the Guild as the bargaining agent - The Guild applied for judicial review

- The principal question was whether the respondent, as a rival union, had standing to file

the complaint against the Guild - The Federal Court of Appeal rejected the Guild's

argument that the Board's decision exposed all unions to a floodgate of complaints from

rival unions - "The Board's decision is limited to complaints made by an unsuccessful trade

union with respect to reprisals by a rival union following an otherwise legitimate

certification campaign under the Code. This does not entail that rival unions may at any

time and in any circumstances submit complaints against one another under the Code

challenging the treatment of their respective members" - See paragraph 27.

Labour Law - Topic 3665

Unions - Unfair labour practices - Practice - Time for filing of complaint - The Canada

Industrial Relations Board decided that the Canadian Merchant Service Guild had breached

s. 95(i)(i) of the Canada Labour Code when it commenced charges under its bylaws against

three of its members arising from their participation in an unsuccessful campaign by the

Teamsters, Local Union 847, to displace the Guild as the bargaining agent - The Guild

applied for judicial review on various grounds, including that the complaint was premature

- The Federal Court of Appeal summarily dismissed that ground of review - The timeliness

argument was groundless since the complaint was allowed by the Board on the basis of s.

95(i)(i) of the Code, to which ss. 97(4) and (5) of the Code did not apply - See paragraph

15.


Labour Law - Topic 6027

Industrial relations - Complaints - Time for filing - [See Labour Law - Topic 3665].

Labour Law - Topic 8705

Industrial relations - Remedies - Practice - Parties - Unions - [See second Labour Law -

Topic 3662].

Cases Noticed:

Carbin, Re (1984), 85 C.L.L.C. 16, 013 (Lab. Rel. Bd.), refd to. [para. 9].

Horsley et al. v. Canadian Union of Postal Workers (1991), 15 C.L.R.B.R.(2d) 141 (Lab.

Rel. Bd.), refd to. [para. 9].

Beaudet-Fortin v. Canadian Union of Postal Workers (1997), 40 C.L.R.B.R.(2d) 161

(C.I.R.B.), refd to. [para. 9].

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals v. Nor-Man Regional Health Authority

Inc., [2011] 3 S.C.R. 616; 423 N.R. 95; 2011 SCC 59, refd to. [para. 18].

Rothmans of Pall Mall Canada Ltd. and Imperial Tobacco Ltd. v. Minister of National

Revenue et al., [1976] 2 F.C. 500; 10 N.R. 153 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

Royal Homes Ltd., Re, [1992] O.L.R.D. No. 744, refd to. [para. 23].

Statutes Noticed:

Canada Labour Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. L-2, sect. 8(1), sect. 95(f), sect. 95(g), sect. 95(i)(i),

sect. 96, sect. 97(1)(a), sect. 97(1)(b), sect. 97(4), sect. 97(5) [para. 8].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Cromwell, Thomas A., Locus Standi: A Commentary on the Law of Standing in Canada

(1986), generally [para. 20].

Counsel:

John O'Connor, for the applicant;

Howard Goldblatt, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Langlois Gaudreau O'Connor LLP, Quebec City, Quebec, for the applicant;

Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, Toronto, Ontario, for the respondent.

This application for judicial review was heard at Montreal, Quebec, on June 20, 2012,

before Noël, Trudel and Mainville, JJ.A., of the Federal Court of Appeal. In reasons written

by Mainville, J.A., the Court delivered the following judgment, in both official languages, at

Ottawa, Ontario, on July 24, 2012.

Editor: E. Joanne Oley

Application dismissed.

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