United Steelworkers versus TD-Canada Trust: Federal Court of Appeal quashes anti-union application



    SUDBURY, ON, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - Reacting to what should be the final word
on the issue, United Steelworkers' (USW) Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne
Fraser said Monday that a judgment by the Federal Court of Appeal has again
upheld the 2005 decision by the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to
certify the USW as the union to represent TD-Canada Trust employees in
Sudbury.
    As well, the judicial review ordered TD-Canada Trust to pay the union for
costs associated with the bank's application.
    "This nonsense has gone on far too long," said Fraser. "But fortunately
it has not stopped the USW from representing the 112 TD-Canada Trust employees
at all eight Sudbury branches and negotiating continued improvements in their
collective agreement."
    As is their right, a small group of workers at the bank's branch in
Lively, ON, did not sign union cards during a 2004 organizing campaign. The
ultra-conservative National Citizens Coalition (NCC) got involved and promoted
their 'cause' as "Free the Lively Seven". The NCC website called - and
continues to call - for donations to fund the campaign against the
Steelworkers, citing a number of so-called facts that the CIRB found had no
merit. The judicial review upholds that conclusion.
    "The ... natural justice argument raised was that the Lively Seven were
not accepted as intervenors in the original hearing . . .," said the review
decision. ". . . this oversight, however, was later remedied when they were
granted intervenor status in the reconsideration hearing. . . A
reconsideration hearing is meant to be serious review of the original decision
and there is no indication that this was not such an exercise, giving full
consideration to the applicants' material and submissions. . ."
    The decision also addressed the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms'
section on freedom of association:
    "There is no requirement in this case to become a member of the union nor
even to pay dues. Actually, all but one of the complainants are not members of
the union. Nor is there sufficient material to demonstrate any pressure for
ideological conformity or compulsion on the individuals."
    "This latest decision is a victory for democratic institutions and the
processes that protect democracy," said Fraser.
    The workers' latest collective agreement, reached in July after a
month-long strike, the first multi-branch strike in modern Canadian banking
history, included retroactive performance review increases and a
35-cent-an-hour increase for all employees. Employees are also guaranteed
increases of 2.2 per cent as of Jan. 1, 2008. The agreement expires Jan. 15,
2009.
    "All of the bank's employees, including the so-called Lively Seven, are
benefiting from the work of the union on their behalf," said Fraser. "We are
proud to represent them and will continue to do so to the best of our
ability."

    The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing more than 280,000
men and women working in every sector of Canada's economy.





For further information:

For further information: Wayne Fraser, (416) 243-8792, (416) 577-4045;
Jim Kmit (USW representative), (705) 675-2461, ext. 224


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