Explanation of the CIRB Decision |
General Committee of Adjustment General Committees of Adjustment -
All TCRC Local Chairs
This is further to the distribution of the March
22, 2013 Decision by the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) as
it pertains to our application to the CIRB to register, with the
Federal Court of Canada, their original Board Order 669-NB, dated
December 19, 2012.
It must be said, and we want to emphasize and
recognize the hard work done by all the Local Chairs in their
ongoing updates and information provided to the General Committee
Offices. Without all of the factual background and evidence to prove
our position we would not have been as successful. This is a clear
demonstration that all of us pulling together in the same direction
is the strongest position possible, and the best way to defend the
rights of our membership and protect the Collective Agreements.
We want to provide you with the following
explanation so that you and the membership understand where we
presently are in this entire matter, how we got to this point, and
what is going to be happening next.
To recap the entire situation for you and the
membership, we provide the following explanation:
- October 1, 2012, we filed the initial charges
with the CIRB with respect to the Local Agreement cancellations
initiated by Canadian Pacific (CP) during September.
- Our position was that CP, in cancelling the
local agreements, was in violation of Section 50, 94 and 96 of
the Labour Code as well as Bill C-39.
- Additionally, we sought an interim order
against CP to cease and desist until the entire complaint could
be heard before the CIRB.
- October 19, 2012, a hearing was held in
Ottawa and the CIRB granted our cease and desist request on an
interim basis. Subsequent to this hearing, Board Order (696-NB)
was issued until the merits of the complaint could be argued.
- Another hearing was scheduled for December
12, 13, 2012, in Ottawa, however this hearing did not take place
as the CIRB decided it had sufficient evidence to make their
- On December 19, 2012 the CIRB issued their
Board Order (699-NB) which superseded the interim Board Order
from October 19. The new Board Order found CP had violated
Section 94(1)(a) of the Code in cancelling the Local Agreements
at the time and in the manner they did. Further, the CIRB
directed CP to cease and desist from the wholesale cancellation
of the Local Agreements and to reinstate the Local Agreements
that were cancelled.
- Shortly following this latest Board Order, CP
began the wholesale cancellation of Local Agreements once again.
We took the position their actions were in violation of the most
recent (December 19, 2012) Board Order and we felt that CP would
continue to ignore and to violate the Board Order in the future.
- CP took the position the December 19 Board
Order had no effect on their actions and they could unilaterally
cancel Local Agreements in a wholesale manner.
- Consequently, on January 11, 2013 we wrote to
the CIRB requesting they intervene into the situation due to the
actions of CP. On January 14, 2013, the CIRB took the position
the previous file was closed with the issuance of their December
19 Board Order (699-NB). We understood that to mean we may have
to eventually file another set of charges with the CIRB.
- Meanwhile, on January 23, 2013, we wrote to
the CIRB requesting they register their December 19, 2012 CIRB
Board Order (699-NB) with the Federal Court as CP continued to
violation that Board Order.
- The CIRB responded by scheduling a hearing
into this matter for March 18, 19, 2013 in Ottawa.
- We attended the hearing along with our legal
counsel, and the hearing was completed in one day. The decision
was issued on March 22, 2013, and distributed to each Local
We are satisfied the CIRB clearly understands the
ongoing actions of CP, the entire situation the membership is facing
at CP, and we are particularly encouraged by the comments of the
CIRB within their March 22, Decision where they state:
“ The Board was very deliberate in its
drafting of Order no. 669-NB, and it did intend the order to
indefinitely prohibit the employer from unilaterally cancelling
and replacing the local rules on a system-wide basis.
Accordingly, the Board has no difficulty in finding that the
employer has failed to comply with Order no. 669-NB, and that
given the employer’s past conduct, there is every likelihood
that it will continue to fail to comply with the order in the
The decision of the Canada Industrial Relations
Board is very clear to us. We expect that CP will begin to adhere to
the Board Order, however that is a decision that CP must make. The
actions of the CIRB in registering their Board Order with the
Federal Court of Canada provide the ability to seek enforcement of
that Board Order by the Court. Someone within CP may face the
consequences of their decisions at a future date.
We will be meeting and discussing this entire
situation together with our legal counsel and we anticipate that our
next steps will be determined in due course.
During all this, we took further action by filing new charges on
March 15, 2013 with the Canada Industrial Relations Board regarding
the actions of CP in their cancellations which began again in
December. In addition to our previous charges, we argued that CP is
in violation of and has ignored the Board Order. These charges are
currently being processed by the CIRB and we will update the
Divisions with information as it is received. Hopefully the most
recent decision of the CIRB to register with the Federal Court will
enlighten someone within CP to pay attention to the law or face the
We want to emphasize to the membership how much we appreciate
their patience and support during this concerted action by CP. We
understand that sometimes it seems justice moves slowly, and in some
cases it does. However, we remain diligent in our resolve to do
everything legally that we can to protect the rights of the
membership and to defend the collective agreements we have.
Finally, we have attached the current March 15, 2013 charges and
the March 22, 2013 correspondence from the Board, with respect to
the registering of the Board Order with the Federal Court of Canada,
for your reference and files. Further updates will be distributed as
Sincerely and in Solidarity,
General Chairman, CTY West
General Chairman, LE East