Picket line decisions a ‘concern’ for some unions

B.C. ruling places limits on picketing activity; Alberta ruling takes more permissive tone
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 06/21/2012

Two recent court decisions that touch on picket line behaviour are cause for some concern, says Doug O’Halloran, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 401 in Alberta, a union involved in one of the cases.

The UFCW’s case centred on striking workers outside Palace Casino at the West Edmonton Mall. The union posted signs stating the video may be posted on the website www.casinoscabs.ca. Several people, including employees and members of the public, complained to the privacy commissioner that their privacy had been invaded.

The Alberta Court of Appeal allowed the union to continue videotaping on the picket line after a lower court told it to stop. The court held that prohibiting videotaping caused a “significant stifling of expression” and it deemed the province’s privacy legislation “heavy handed” and unconstitutional.