Vehicles line up to board B.C. Ferries sailing at Tsawwassen. (Black Press Media)

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

A judicial review related to the B.C. ferry workers union’s right to strike has been dismissed by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

In November, the B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union presented its case to Judge Grace Choi related to a 2016 arbitration decision, where it was determined that the union “contractually agreed not to engage in strike activity during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.” British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. and B.C. Labour Relations Board were named as respondents.

The union’s current collective agreement is set to expire in November 2020 and a negotiation period begins August 2020. The union previously said it was being unfairly denied access to the right to strike via a misreading of statutory obligations that people are held to under the labour relations code. Last November, Graeme Johnston, union provincial president, told the News Bulletin that the Supreme Court of Canada has stated that if the right to strike is to be removed, it has to be “done in the most express terms possible, [with] clear language, and it can’t be done by implication and in our case, what the arbitrator ruled and what the board upheld is the removal of our right to strike happened by implication.”

RELATED: B.C. ferry workers’ union fights for right to strike

In her judgment dated May 10, Choi said the judicial review was “not a rehearing of a case on its merits,” and that the reconsideration decision may be reviewed on “correctness or patent unreasonableness,” with the union claiming correctness and the other parties claiming patent unreasonableness, according to Choi.

She said the board didn’t administer a “fulsome Charter values analysis,” but that was “not patently unreasonable.” The board knew that the topic was considered by the arbitrator and the original panel, Choi’s judgment said.

“The board was able to determine which principles of law, including the fundamental right to freely associate, were germane and relevant to the decision it had to make within its narrow scope of review … The board concluded that the interest arbitration clause at issue is a legitimate dispute resolution mechanism consistent with the principles expressed and implied in the code,” said Choi.

In conclusion, Choi said she dismissed the union’s application because “nothing leaps out as patently unreasonable respecting the reconsideration panel’s review of the original decision.”

In an e-mail, Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries’ spokeswoman, said the corporation was pleased with the court’s decision, but had no further comment.

Johnston didn’t respond to a request for comment.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP issue statement in support of a peaceful rally and against racism

The Campbell River RCMP issued a statement in support of a peaceful… Continue reading

Road maintenance work scheduled for Black Creek and Quadra Island

Spring roadside work will be in progress along Highway 19 A and Granite Bay Road on multiple days

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Campbell River karate instructor takes lessons outside the dojo

Northwest Shito-Kai’s Nigel Nikolaisen embracing alternative teaching methods during pandemic

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read