AMS Guilty of Unfair Labour Practice; Labour Board orders AMS to Pay Damages to Union
In August of 2015, MoveUP, the union that represents Security and Admin staff at UBC’s Alma Mater Society applied to represent a new group of AMS workers. The Labour Board held a vote at the worksite to determine whether or not these workers would join the union. After reviewing the circumstances of the vote, the Labour Board found that the AMS interfered with the vote and were guilty of an unfair labour practice. As a result, the AMS must repay MoveUP’s legal costs.
The AMS paid two workers to come in to work specifically to vote against the formation of a union among a group of servers and banquet captains within the AMS Catering and Conference Department.
In his decision Labour Board Vice Chair Wilkins wrote:
“I order the Employer to pay damages to the Union in the amount which is equal to that of the Union’s costs in challenging the vote of Doyle”
He further ordered:
“I declare the Employer (AMS) has committed unfair labour practices under Subsection 6(1) and 6(3)(d) of the Code.”
He went on to call the AMS’ behaviour “egregious” and instructed the AMS to cease and desist interfering with the union’s organizing efforts.
“It’s troubling when employers attempt to interfere with people’s right to join a union,” said MoveUP Acting President Lori Mayhew. “It is even more disturbing when this employer is using students’ funds to pay legal fees and now to pay the penalty for breaking the law.”
MoveUP represents 12,000 workers in Western Canada.
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MoveUP Communications Director
The full Labour Board decision attached to this message.
Relevant Section of the Labour Code:
6 (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 8, an employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer must not participate in or interfere with the formation, selection or administration of a trade union or contribute financial or other support to it.
(3) An employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer must not
(a) discharge, suspend, transfer, lay off or otherwise discipline an employee, refuse to employ or to continue to employ a person or discriminate against a person in regard to employment or a condition of employment because the person
(i) is or proposes to become or seeks to induce another person to become a member or officer of a trade union, or
(ii) participates in the promotion, formation or administration of a trade union,
(b) discharge, suspend, transfer, lay off or otherwise discipline an employee except for proper cause when a trade union is in the process of conducting a certification campaign for employees of that employer,
(c) impose in a contract of employment a condition that seeks to restrain an employee from exercising his or her rights under this Code,
(d) seek by intimidation, by dismissal, by threat of dismissal or by any other kind of threat, or by the imposition of a penalty, or by a promise, or by a wage increase, or by altering any other terms or conditions of employment, to compel or to induce an employee to refrain from becoming or continuing to be a member or officer or representative of a trade union,
(e) use or authorize or permit the use of the services of a person in contravention of section 68, or
(f) refuse to agree with a trade union, certified under this Code as the bargaining agent for his or her employees who have been engaged in collective bargaining to conclude their first collective agreement, that all employees in the unit, whether or not members of the trade union, but excluding those exempted under section 17, will pay union dues from time to time to the trade union.