Supreme Court of Canada Protects Union’s Bargaining Rights!

Friday June 20, 2008
For Immediate Release

Edmonton, AB – This week’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Finning decision confirms that trade union bargaining rights are protected when a company creates and finances a new company, transfers part of its operation to that new company, and lays off the unionized workers. “This is a great victory for all unionized Canadian workers,” said IAMAW District 14 Business Representative Bob MacKinnon. “We’re very pleased that the courts have recognized the importance of trade union bargaining rights when a company reorganizes.”

That is exactly what happened Finning International, created and financed O.E.M. Remanufacturing Incorporated and transferred to it, the operation of the Component Rebuild Centre in Edmonton resulting in the layoff of 160 IAMAW members.

The Alberta Labour Relations Board originally found that Finning’s $87 million capitalization of OEM was a successorship under the Labour Relations Code. The Code

provides that when a unionized business or part of a business is transferred, the bargaining rights of the union transfer to the new employer.

However, a Reconsideration Panel of the Board overturned the original decision, finding that there was no successorship. This was ultimately overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal. Now, by dismissing the leave to appeal applications, the Supreme Court has said that the Alberta Court of Appeal stands.

The Alberta Court of Appeal, in its judgement, spoke about the purpose of the Labour Code in protecting bargaining rights and about the importance of looking at the true effects of the overall transaction. The Court of Appeal said that labour boards must be wary of creative corporate restructuring or reorganizations that undermine collective bargaining rights.


For further information:
Bob MacKinnon – IAMAW District 14 Business Representative

Bill Trbovich – IAMAW Director of Communications
416-386-1601 ext 6331/416-735-9765

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