Syndicat National des Employés de la Commission Scolaire Régionale de l'Outaouais (CSN) v. Union des Employés de Service, Local 298 (FTQ), 35 Admin LR 153

JudgeBeetz, Estey, McIntyre, Chouinard, Lamer, Le Dain and La Forest, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateDecember 22, 1988
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations35 Admin LR 153;[1988] SCJ No 101 (QL);[1988] ACS no 101;1988 CanLII 30 (SCC);13 ACWS (3d) 23;24 QAC 244;JE 89-141;(1988), 95 N.R. 161 (SCC);95 NR 161

CSN v. SEU (1988), 95 N.R. 161 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

.........................

Le Syndicat National des Employés de la Commission Scolaire Régionale de L'Outaouais (CSN) (appellants) v. Union des Employés de Service, Local 298 (FTQ) (respondent) and Real Bibeault and Labour Court, Judges of the Labour Court, Jean-Paul Geoffroy, Rene Beaudry, Denis Aube, Marc Briere, Jean Girouard, Bernard Prud'homme, Claude St-Arnaud, Louis Morin, Robert Auclair, Robert Burns and Bernard Lesage, La Commission Scolaire Régionale de L'Outaouais, Entreprise Netco Inc., Services Ménagers Roy Limitée, MBD Conciergeries Limitée

(18609)

Indexed As: Syndicat National des Employés de la Commission Scolaire Régionale de l'Outaouais (CSN) v. Union des Employés de Service, Local 298 (FTQ)

Supreme Court of Canada

Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Chouinard, Lamer, Le Dain and La Forest, JJ.

December 22, 1988.

Summary:

Two companies, Netco and MBD, were awarded the janitorial contracts for six schools. When Netco's and MBD's employees went on a legal strike, the contracts were terminated and the contracts were retendered and awarded to a competitor, Services Menagers Roy. The CSN union was the certified bargaining agent for Netco and MBD employees. The FTQ union applied for certification respecting employees of Services Menagers Roy. Concurrently, the CSN union applied to the labour commissioner under ss. 45 and 46 of the Labour Code (successor rights provisions) to have the transfer of the rights and obligations of Netco and MBD to Services Menagers Roy recorded, thereby defeating the certification application.

The labour commissioner recorded the transfer of rights and obligations under s. 46. The commissioner held that the only conditions for the application of s. 45 were the existence of a new employer and continuity of the undertaking. There was no requirement of a legal relation between successive employers. The commissioner declared Services Menagers Roy bound by the certification of Netco and MBD and by the legal strike. On the basis of that decision the commissioner subsequently dismissed the FTQ union's certification application. The FTQ union appealed.

The Labour Court confirmed the decision. The court held that there had been a transfer of the undertaking and, consequently, the rights and obligations attached to the certification were also transferred under s. 45. The F.T.Q. union applied for evocation.

The Quebec Superior Court, in a judgment reported [1982] C.S. 977, allowed the motion for evocation. The court held that the interprétation of s. 45 by the labour commissioner and the Labour Court was in error and the errors were jurisdictional in nature. The CSN union appealed.

The Quebec Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The CSN union appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal. The court held that the interprétation of s. 45 was a jurisdictional matter and the labour commissioner erred in concluding that there was an alienation or operation by another of an undertaking. The court held that s. 45 did not apply because there was no legal relation between Netco and MBD and Services Menagers Roy, there was no alienation or agreement to operate and no part of the previous companies' undertakings were included in the operation of Service Menagers Roy. Section 45 did not apply to two separate undertakings simply because they operated in the same area of activity.

Administrative Law - Topic 1442

Finality - Collateral, preliminary or jurisdictional issues - What constitute - Section 45 of the Labour Code automatically imposed successor rights on new employers where there was an alienation or operation by another of an undertaking - Section 46 empowered the labour commissioner to record the transfer of rights and obligations provided in s. 45 - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the commissioner's power was limited to recording the successor rights guaranteed in s. 45 - The commissioner was not authorized to conclusively determine whether the requirements of s. 45 were met, because the interprétation of s. 45 was a jurisdictional matter and an erroneous application of s. 45 constituted an excess of jurisdiction - See paragraphs 129-144.

Administrative Law - Topic 1442

Finality - Collateral, jurisdictional or preliminary issues - What constitute - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the analytical methods to be used in deciding whether a matter before a tribunal was jurisdictional in nature - The court stated that a tribunal may have to decide various questions of law - Certain of those questions fall within the jurisdiction conferred on the tribunal; other questions however, may concern the limits of its jurisdiction - The court stated that "the formalistic analysis of the preliminary or collateral question theory is giving way to a pragmatic and functional analysis ... The concept of the preliminary or collateral question diverts the courts from the real problem of judicial review: it substitutes the question 'Is this a preliminary or collateral question to the exercise of the tribunal's power?' for the only question which should be asked 'Did the legislator intend the question to be within the jurisdiction conferred on the tribunal?'" - The court set out why the pragmatic or functional approach was preferable - See paragraphs 108-128.

Administrative Law - Topic 3210

Judicial review - General - Jurisdictional issues - [See second Administrative Law - Topic 1442 above].

Administrative Law - Topic 5011

Judicial review - Certiorari - Grounds for granting - Error of jurisdiction - The Supreme Court of Canada summarized in two propositions the circumstances in which an administrative tribunal will exceed its jurisdiction because of error: "1. if the question of law at issue is within the tribunal's jurisdiction, it will only exceed its jurisdiction if it errs in a patently unreasonable manner; a tribunal which is competent to answer a question may make errors in so doing without being subject to judicial review; 2. if however the question at issue concerns a legislative provision limiting the tribunal's powers, a mere error will cause it to lose jurisdiction and subject the tribunal to judicial review" - See paragraph 117.

Administrative Law - Topic 5015

Judicial review - Certiorari - Grounds for granting - Patently unreasonable decision - [See Administrative Law - Topic 5011 above].

Labour Law - Topic 448

Labour relations boards - Judicial review - Boards - Jurisdiction - Successor rights - [See first Administrative Law - Topic 1442 above].

Labour Law - Topic 4904

Unions - Successor rights and obligations - Jurisdiction - [See first Administrative Law - Topic 1442 above].

Labour Law - Topic 4908

Unions - Successor rights and obligations - Alienation of undertaking - Section 45 of the Labour Code automatically imposed successor rights on a new employer where there was an alienation or operation by another in whole or in part of an undertaking otherwise than by judicial sale - Two companies were awarded the janitorial contracts for six schools - When the companies' employees were on strike the contracts were legally terminated, retendered and awarded to a third company - The Supreme Court of Canada held that s. 45 did not apply where there was no legal relation between the previous employers and the new employer, no alienation or agreement to operate and where no part of the previous employers' undertakings were included in the operation of the new employer - The court stated that s. 45 did not apply simply because two separate undertakings operated in the same area of activity - See paragraphs 144-224.

Labour Law - Topic 4908

Unions - Successor rights and obligations - Alienation of undertaking - Section 45 of the Labour Code automatically imposed successor rights on new employers where there was an alienation or operation by another of an undertaking - The Supreme Court of Canada adopted the following definition of "undertaking": "The undertaking consists in an organization of resources that together suffice for the pursuit, in whole or in part, of specific activities. These resources may, according to the circumstances, be limited to legal, technical, physical or abstract elements. Most often, particularly where there is no operation of the undertaking by a subcontractor, the undertaking may be said to be constituted when, because a sufficient number of those components that permit the specific activities to be conducted or carried out are present, one can conclude that the very foundations of the undertaking exist: in other words, when the undertaking may be described as a going concern" - See paragraphs 164180.

Labour Law - Topic 4908

Unions - Successor rights and obligations - Alienation of undertaking - Section 45 of the Labour Code automatically imposed successor rights on a new employer where there was an alienation or operation by another of an undertaking - The Supreme Court of Canada held that s. 45 required a legal relation between successive employers - The court stated that the existence of such a connection was necessarily inferred from the principles of collective bargaining, the language used by the legislator and the history of ss. 45 and 46 - The court further stated that (1) the undertaking which is alienated or operated by another must be that of the employer in respect of whom the certification was issued or with whom the collective agreement was concluded and (2) the alienation or agreement must occur between the previous and new employer - See paragraphs 181-211.

Cases Noticed:

Adam v. Daniel Roy Ltée et al., [1983] 1 S.C.R. 683; 50 N.R. 332, refd to. [para. 24].

Martinique Motor Inn Ltd. v. Union des employés d'hôtel, motel et club, [1973] T.T. 151, refd to. [para. 27].

Jack Schwartz Service Station v. Teamsters Local Union 900, [1975] T.T. 125, disagreed with [para. 30].

Syndicat national des employés de l'aluminium d'Arvida Inc. v. J.R. Théberge Ltée, [1965] R.D.T. 449, refd to. [para. 31].

Centrale de Chauffage Enr. v. Syndicat des employés des institutions religieuses de Chicoutimi Inc., [1970] T.T. 236, refd to. [para. 31].

Syndicat national des concierges des commissions scolaires des comtés de Richelieu, Verchères et Yamaska (CSN) v. For-Net Inc., [1971] T.T. 146, refd to. [para. 31].

Union des employés de service d'édifices, local 298 -- F.T.Q. v. Syndicat des employés de soutien de maisons d'enseignement de la Régionale Le Gardeur (CSN), [1971] T.T. 203, refd to. [para. 31].

Canadian Kenworth Ltd. v. Syndicat international des travailleurs unis de l'automobile, de l'aéronautique, de l'astronautique et des instruments aratoires d'Amérique, local 1146, [1975] T.T. 168, refd to. [para. 31].

Syndicat des employés de l'imprimerie de la région de l'amiante (CSN) v. Imprimerie Roy et Laliberté Inc., [1980] T.T. 503, refd to. [para. 34].

Syndicat des salariés de service d'entretien (C.S.D.) v. Montcalm Carpets Specialists Ltd., [1981] T.T. 273, refd to. [para. 36].

Entrepôts Schenker Ltée v. Travailleurs canadiens de l'Alimentation et d'autres industries, local P-766, [1981] T.T. 420, refd to. [para. 36].

Syndicat national des employés de la Commission scolaire régionale de l'Outaouais v. Services Ménagers Bordeaux, [1980] T.T. 233, refd to. [para. 42].

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v. Syndicat des employés de production du Québec et de l'Acadie, [1984] 2 S.C.R. 412; 55 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 112].

Syndicat des employés de production du Québec et de l'Acadie c. Canada Labour Relations Board - see Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v. Syndicat des employés de production du Québec et de l'Acadie. Blanchard v. Control Data Canada Ltd., [1984] 2 S.C.R. 476; 55 N.R. 194, refd to. [para. 113].

Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 963 v. New Brunswick Liquor Corp., [1979] 2 S.C.R. 227; 26 N.R. 341; 25 N.B.R.(2d) 237; 51 A.P.R. 237; 97 D.L.R.(3d) 417; 79 C.L.L.C. 14,209, refd to. [para. 114].

Service Employees' International Union, Local No. 333 v. Nipawin District Staff Nurses Association, [1975] 1 S.C.R. 382, refd to. [para. 114].

Crevier v. Attorney General of Quebec and Aubry, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 220; 38 N.R. 541, refd to. [para. 127].

Montreal Trust v. Tribunal du travail, [1975] R.D.T. 353 (C.A.), disagreed with [para. 129].

Lecavalier v. Syndicat national des employés de la Ville de Laval Inc. (C.S.N.), [1976] C.S. 856, disagreed with [para. 129].

Syndicat des employés municipaux de la Ville de Hull v. Hull (Ville de), [1985] C.A. 552, disagreed with [para. 129].

Fraternité internationale des ouvriers en électricité v. National Cablevision Ltd., [1967] R.D.T. 314, refd to. [para. 133].

Cité de Lachine v. Union des employés municipaux de la Cité de Lachine, [1974] T.T. 279, refd to. [para. 133].

National Bank of Canada v. Retail Clerks' International Union and Canada Labour Relations Board, [1984] 1 S.C.R. 269; 53 N.R. 203, refd to. [para. 135].

Parkhill Bedding & Furniture Ltd. v. International Molders & Foundry Workers Union of North America, Local 174 (1961), 26 D.L.R.(2d) 589, refd to. [para. 139].

Labour Relations Board of Saskatchewan v. John East Iron Works Ltd., [1948] 2 W.W.R. 1055 (P.C.), refd to. [para. 146].

International Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink and Distillery Workers of America (Local 239) v. Coca-Cola Ltd. (1963), [1978] R.L. 391, refd to. [para. 149].

Mode Amazone v. Comité conjoint de Montréal de l'Union internationale des ouvriers du vetement pour dames, [1983] T.T. 227, agreed with [para. 173].

Alimentation de la Seigneurie Inc. v. Union des employés de commerce, local 500, D.T.E. 83T-694, refd to. [para. 174].

Union des employés de commerce, local 500 T.U.A.C. (U.F.C.W.) v. Union des employés de commerce, local 501 T.U. A.C. (U.F.C.W.), D.T.E. 85T-521, refd to. [para. 174].

Industries du frein total Ltée v. Syndicat international des travailleurs unis de l'automobile, de l'aérospatiale et de l'outillage agricole d'Amérique (T.U.A. - F.T.Q. - C.T.C.), section locale 1900, [1985] T.T. 220, refd to. [para. 174].

Syndicat des salariés de la Boulangerie Weston (C.S.D.) v. Union des employés de commerce, local 501, T.U.A.C., [1986] T.T. 128, refd to. [para. 174].

Commission des normes du travail v. Delta Granite Inc., J.E. 85-927 (C.S.), refd to. [para. 179].

Commission des normes du travail v. Banque nationale du Canada, D.T.E. 88T-282 (C.S.), refd to. [para. 179].

Commission des normes du travail v. Frank White Entreprises Inc., [1984] C.P. 232, refd to. [para. 179].

Commission des normes du travail v. Erdan, [1985] C.P. 353, refd to. [para. 179].

Brown, Syndicat national des travailleurs de la pulpe et du papier de La Tuque Inc. v. Commission des relations ouvrières de la Province de Québec, [1958] Que. Q.B. 1, refd to. [para. 187].

Barnes Security Service Ltd. v. Association internationale des machinistes et des travailleurs de l'aéroastronautique, local 2235, [1972] T.T. 1, refd to. [para. 195].

Syndicat des travailleurs forestiers de la division Jacques Cartier (FTPF - CSN) v. H.C. Leduc Ltée, [1977] T.T. 249, refd to. [para. 196].

Clinique communautaire de Pointe St-Charles v. Syndicat professionnel des diététistes du Quebec, [1973] T.T. 338, refd to. [para. 197].

Gerances West Cliff Ltée v. Union des employes de service, local 298 F.T. Q., [1981] T.T. 432, refd to. [para. 197].

Hull (Ville de) v. Bibeault, D.T.E. 83T-906 (C.S.), refd to. [para. 197].

Brasserie Labatt Ltée v. Commissaire général du travail, [1986] R.J.Q. 908 (C.S.), refd to. [para. 197].

Fondation-Habitation Champlain Inc. v. Tribunal du travail, D.T.E. 86T500 (C.S.), refd to. [para. 197].

Syndicat des employés de la Commission régionale de Tilly (CSN) v. Langlois, [1976] T.T. 165, refd to. [para. 204].

Cégep de Shawinigan v. Syndicat du personnel de soutien du Coll ege d'enseignement de Shawinigan Enr., [1976] T.T. 209, refd to. [para. 204].

J.A. Hubert Ltée v. Syndicat des employés de soutien du Collège Ahuntsic, [1977] T.T. 110, refd to. [para. 204].

Union des chauffeurs de camions, hommes d'entrepôts et autres ouvriers, local 106 v. Alain Lacasse Transport Inc., [1977] T.T. 231, refd to. [para. 222].

Sitri Inc. v. Cartage & Miscellaneous Employee's Union, Local 931 (F.T.Q.), [1977] T.T. 29, refd to. [para. 222].

Compagnie du Trust National Ltée v. Burns, [1985] C.S. 1286, refd to. [para. 225].

Statutes Noticed:

Canada Labour Code - see Labour Code.

Labour Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. L-1, sect. 144(5) [para. 135].

Labour Code, R.S.Q., c. C-27, sect. 1(k) [para. 203]; sect. 1(1) [para. 138]; sect. 21 [para. 151]; sect. 22 [para. 17]; sect. 45, sect. 46 [para. 1]; sect. 58 [para. 17]; sect. 62 [para. 156].

Labour Standards, An Act Respecting, R.S.Q., c. N-1.1, sect. 96 [para. 178]; sect. 128 [para. 134].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Association Henri Capitant, Vocabulaire juridique, 1987, pp. 43 [para. 191]; 171 [para. 192].

Brière, M., R.P. Gagnon and C. Saint-Germain, La transmission de l'entreprise en droit du travail, 1982, pp. 2-11 [para. 28].

Capitant, H., Vocabulaire juridique, 1936, p. 46 [para. 191].

Centre de recherche en droit privé et comparé du Québec, Dictionnaire de droit privé, 1985, p. 17 [para. 191].

Corniot, S., Dictionnaire de droit, 1966, vol. 1, p. 93 [para. 191].

de Smith, S.A., Constitutional and Administrative Law (4th Ed. 1981), p. 558 [para. 121].

de Smith, S.A., Judicial Review of Administrative Action (4th Ed. 1980), pp. 110 [para. 125]; 114 [para. 111].

de Villargues, Rolland, Dictionnaire du droit civil, commercial et criminel, 4e éd., 1889, vol. 1, pp. 267268 [para. 191].

Dion, Gérard, Dictionnaire canadien des relations du travail, 2e éd., 1986, pp. 192 [para. 98]; 449 [paras. 97, 99].

Gagnon, R.P., Droit du travail, 1987, p. 272 [para. 179].

Gagnon, Robert P., L'article 45 du Code du travail aprés le jugement C.S.R. Outaouais, in La transmission de l'entreprise en droit du travail, pp. 145-163 [para. 44]; 156 [para. 206]; 160 [para. 220]; 160-161 [para. 80].

Gagnon, Robert P., Louis LeBel and Pierre Verge, Droit du travail, 1987, pp. 332 [para. 25]; 357 [para. 151].

Guillien, R., and J. Vincent, Lexique de termes juridiques, 5è ed., 1981, p. 96 [para. 192].

Hébert, G. and G. Trudeau, Les normes minimales du travail au Canada et au Québec, 1987, p. 55 [para. 179].

Loi sur les normes du travail, réglement sur les normes du travail, Loi sur la fete nationale: interprétation et jurisprudence, 1986, p. 58 [para. 179].

Perraud-Charmantier, A., Petit dictionnaire le droit, 1948, p. 26 [para. 191].

Saint-Germain, Catherine, "Historique de la situation avant le jugement Commission scolaire régionale de l'Outaouais", in La transmission de l'entreprise en droit du travail, 1982, pp. 2-11 [para. 28]; 6 [para. 32]; 6-8 [para. 33]; 9 [para. 37]; 9-10 [para. 39].

Counsel:

Clement Groleau and Raymond Levasseur, for the appellant;

Gaston Nadeau, for the respondent;

Richard Martel and André Durocher, for Services Ménagers Roy Limitée;

Jean Pomminville, for La Commission scolaire régionale de l'Outaouais.

This appeal was heard on October 29 and 30, 1986, before Beetz, Estey, McIntyre, Chouinard, Lamer, Le Dain and La Forest, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada.

On December 22, 1988, Beetz, J., delivered the following judgment for the Supreme Court of Canada in both official languages.

Estey, Chouinard and Le Dain, JJ., did not participate in the judgment.

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