Layoffs Without Fair Consultation Violate Collective Agreement

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/07/2011

Notified of the employer’s intent to reduce hours and effect layoffs in two of its nursing homes, the union scheduled a meeting with the employer to discuss and explore the circumstances behind the layoffs as contemplated by the collective agreement.

In order to prepare for the meeting and ensure a meaningful review, the union asked the employer to furnish it with documents, including facility reports, financial documents and other reports pertaining to funding arrangements.

When the employer refused to provide the documents, the union grieved, charging that the employer’s actions made it impossible to conduct a meaningful review of the layoffs according to the terms of the collective agreement. Consequently, because the employer was in violation of the collective agreement, the union argued that the layoffs should be declared void ab initio and rescinded.