United Food & Commercial Workers Canada Union, Local 401 v. North Country Catering Ltd. et al., (2012) 541 A.R. 75 (QB)

JudgeGoss, J.
CourtCourt of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
Case DateApril 04, 2012
Citations(2012), 541 A.R. 75 (QB);2012 ABQB 306

UFCWU v. North Country Catering Ltd. (2012), 541 A.R. 75 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2012] A.R. TBEd. MY.086

United Food & Commercial Workers Canada Union, Local 401 (applicant) v. North Country Catering Ltd. and Alberta Labour Relations Board (respondents)

(1103 20135; 2012 ABQB 306)

Indexed As: United Food & Commercial Workers Canada Union, Local 401 v. North Country Catering Ltd. et al.

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial District of Edmonton

Goss, J.

May 9, 2012.

Summary:

The United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union, Local 401 applied for judicial review of a decision of the Alberta Labour Relations Board in which it declined to direct the filing in the court of its access order against North Country Catering Ltd.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the application.

Administrative Law - Topic 3342

Judicial review - General - Practice - Limitation period - The employer operated six lodges/camps which provided accommodation for construction, oilfield and other workers - The Union was assisting employees at these lodges with their attempts to unionize - In July 2011, the Union filed complaints with the Alberta Labour Relations Board, alleging, inter alia, that the employer's refusal to allow union organizers to access the lodges breached s. 148(1)(a) of the Labour Relations Code which prohibited an employer from interfering with the representation of employees by a union - The Board heard the Union's request for an order granting it reasonable access to the lodges - The parties entered into a Settlement Agreement regarding unfair labour practice complaints pending before the Board - The Settlement Agreement contemplated that the Board would nevertheless rule on the complaint regarding access to the lodges, and that either party could then apply for reconsideration or review - The Board granted an interim order under s. 12(2) of the Code allowing the Union interim access to the lodges pending the Board's final determination on the issue (Access Decision) - The employer applied to the Board for reconsideration and stay of the Access Decision - The employer advised that it would not allow access, and applied under s. 12(2)(e) for an interim stay of the Access Decision pending further determination of matters - The Union applied to the Board to have the Access Decision filed with the court pursuant to s. 18(6) of the Code, or in the alternative to direct the employer to grant access to the lodges on certain specified dates and times - On November 18, 2011, the Board stayed the Union's request to have the Access Decision filed with the court until such time as the Board could determine the reconsideration application filed by the employer - The Board's oral decision was followed with written reasons on November 24, 2011 - The Union applied for judicial review - The employer asserted that the application was out of time as the clock started running on November 18 when the Board issued its oral decision - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench rejected the assertion - The period for filing the application began to run from the time of the written decision - "Given the indication at the time of the oral decision that a letter was to follow, the parties would reasonably have understood that the letter might contain information elucidating the conclusion. Further, the recounting of the procedural history and submissions provides the context for the conclusion and indicates that the decision maker was alive to various facts and issues raised by the parties" - See paragraphs 28 to 33.

Labour Law - Topic 3545

Unions - Unfair labour practices - By employer - Interference with communications - Union access to workplace - The employer operated six lodges/camps which provided accommodation for construction, oilfield and other workers - The Union was assisting employees at these lodges with their attempts to unionize - In July 2011, the Union filed complaints with the Alberta Labour Relations Board, alleging, inter alia, that the employer's refusal to allow union organizers to access the lodges breached s. 148(1)(a) of the Labour Relations Code which prohibited an employer from interfering with the representation of employees by a union - The Board heard the Union's request for an order granting it reasonable access to the lodges - The parties entered into a Settlement Agreement regarding unfair labour practice complaints pending before the Board - The Settlement Agreement contemplated that the Board would nevertheless rule on the complaint regarding access to the lodges, and that either party could then apply for reconsideration or review - The Board granted an interim order under s. 12(2) of the Code allowing the Union interim access to the lodges pending the Board's final determination on the issue (Access Decision) - The employer applied to the Board for reconsideration and stay of the Access Decision - The employer advised that it would not allow access, and applied under s. 12(2)(e) for an interim stay of the Access Decision pending further determination of matters - The Union applied to the Board to have the Access Decision filed with the court pursuant to s. 18(6) of the Code, or in the alternative to direct the employer to grant access to the lodges on certain specified dates and times - The Board stayed the Union's request to have the Access Decision filed with the court until such time as the Board could determine the reconsideration application filed by the employer - The Union applied for judicial review - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the application - There was no confusion as to the relief sought by the parties, nor that granted by the Board - There was nothing to indicate that the Board failed to appreciate the import of the stay of the Union's request for filing - The Union had not established that the Board erred in its approach - The Code did not mandate a particular test - The Board was aware of the relevant legal and equitable doctrines and gave intelligible reasons for its decision - See paragraphs 39 to 49.

Cases Noticed:

Alberta Building Trades Council, Re, [2007] A.L.R.B.D. No. 18 (Asbell), refd to. [para. 15].

Permasteel Construction Ltd., Re, [2000] A.L.R.B.D. No. 291, refd to. [para. 16].

Johannesson v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) (1995), 175 A.R. 34; 32 Alta. L.R.(3d) 373 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 19].

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 875 et al. (2003), 345 A.R. 7 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 19].

Alberta (Attorney General) et al. v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local No. 401 et al. (2011), 502 A.R. 188; 517 W.A.C. 188; 2011 ABCA 93, refd to. [para. 19].

UFCA, Local 401 v. Economic Development Edmonton, [2002] A.L.R.B.R. 186, refd to. [para. 21].

UA, Local 488 v. Firestone Energy Corp., [2005] A.L.R.B.R. LD-031, refd to. [para. 21].

Operating Engineers 955 v. Midwest Pipeline, [1990] A.L.R.B.R. 445, refd to. [para. 22].

New Brunswick (Board of Management) v. Dunsmuir, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190; 372 N.R. 1; 329 N.B.R.(2d) 1; 844 A.P.R. 1; 2008 SCC 9, refd to. [para. 25].

Alberta Teachers' Association v. Information and Privacy Commissioner (Alta.) et al. (2011), 424 N.R. 70; 519 A.R. 1; 539 W.A.C. 1; 2011 SCC 61, refd to. [para. 25].

United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 401 et al. v. Westfair Foods Ltd. et al. (2010), 477 A.R. 315; 483 W.A.C. 315; 2010 ABCA 120, refd to. [para. 25].

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817; 243 N.R. 22, refd to. [para. 25].

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals v. Nor-Man Regional Health Authority Inc. (2011), 423 N.R. 95; 275 Man.R.(2d) 16; 538 W.A.C. 16; 2011 SCC 59, refd to. [para. 26].

Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union v. Newfoundland and Labrador (Treasury Board) et al., [2011] 3 S.C.R. 708; 424 N.R. 220; 317 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 340; 986 A.P.R. 340; 2011 SCC 62, refd to. [para. 30].

Alberta Liquor Store Association et al. v. Gaming and Liquor Commission (Alta.) et al. (2006), 406 A.R. 104; 2006 ABQB 904, refd to. [para. 35].

Sarg Oils Ltd. et al. v. Environmental Appeal Board (Alta.) et al., [2007] A.R. Uned. 348; 75 Admin. L.R.(4th) 314; 2007 ABCA 215, refd to. [para. 35].

Royal Oak Mines Inc. v. Canada Labour Relations Board et al., [1996] 1 S.C.R. 369; 193 N.R. 81, refd to. [para. 37].

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees v. Health Sciences Association of Alberta et al. (2009), 457 A.R. 387; 457 W.A.C. 387; 2009 ABCA 266, leave to appeal refused (2010), 405 N.R. 396; 499 A.R. 400; 514 W.A.C. 400 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 37].

Counsel:

Patrick G. Nugent, for the applicant;

F. Albert X. Lavergne, for the respondent, North Country Catering Ltd.;

Shawn W. McLeod, for the respondent, Alberta Labour Relations Board.

This application was heard on April 4, 2012, by Goss, J., of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial District of Edmonton, who delivered the following reasons for judgment on May 9, 2012.

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