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Construction Labour Law

Our lawyers know that construction labour law is a unique and complex field. Construction unions and their members have specialized legal needs, and we have the expertise and experience to meet those needs. We routinely advise and act for construction unions and their members in matters ranging from certification to collective bargaining to strikes and lockouts.

We provide a full range of advice and representation in the following areas:

  • all Labour Board matters at the federal and provincial level, including certification applications, jurisdictional disputes, sector determinations, unfair labour practice complaints and interim order applications, unlawful strike or picketing applications and duty of fair representation complaints; 
  • all aspects of grievance arbitration and interest arbitration as it pertains to the construction industry, including consensual mediation-arbitration; 
  • collective bargaining;
  • employment benefits, including employment standards, workers’ compensation, and occupational health and safety; 
  • legal support for unions and trustees of pension and benefit plans, including construction lien and other collections work;
  • human rights, pay and employment equity issues arising in the construction context; 
  • education of organizers, union representatives, advice and co-counsel work with in-house counsel;
  • occupational health and safety prosecutions;
  • inquests; and
  • government policy and legislative changes relevant to the construction industry.

Recent notable cases include:

  • Labourers’ International Union of North America, Local 183 v. Across Canada Construction Ltd., in which Local 183 brought an application to settle a first agreement by mediation-arbitration, and the court-appointed manager argued that the proceeding should be stayed pursuant to a previous court order. The Board disagreed. Moreover, the Board determined that the union had participated in bargaining in good faith and that mediation alone was unlikely to resolve the matter. Accordingly, the Board granted the union's application.
  • Labourers' International Union of North America, Local 837 v. Moffatt Excavating and Utilities Ltd., which involved a certification application to represent Mofatt employees. The employer and another local argued that another entity was the true employer, and that an existing collective agreement applied. The Board determined that Mofatt was the employer, citing Mofatt's independence in hiring decisions, setting wages and disciplining and discharging employees, and certified the bargaining unit.
  • Labourers' International Union of North America, Local 183, Applicant v. Roadside Paving Limited, which involved an unfair labour practices application alleging that, during the organizing campaign, the employer had called a meeting of employees and spoke against the union, laid off workers who supported the union and increased wages for other employees who remained with the employer. The Board found that these allegations were substantiated and that the employer's conduct suppressed the employees' free choice.Accordingly, the Board order remedial certification of the bargaining unit.

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