IAM grieves decision after Air Canada denies worker rights to wear union hat

Evidence produced from company ‘sparse; vague’: Arbitrator
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 03/04/2019

Even though they had worn International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)-branded ball caps since 1985, a number of Air Canada employees were told they couldn’t wear such hats while on duty.

During 1985 bargaining, the IAM distributed union-logoed hats to employees as a pressure tactic against the employer. But Air Canada issued a statement that employees working under-the-wing were not allowed to wear non-Air Canada caps, even though their exposure to customers was minimal.

The IAM grieved the decision and won a ruling on Sept. 16, 1987, that said the employer violated the collective agreement by interfering with an employee’s right to choose his own headgear.