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Ontario Courts Rule Fines Not Enforcable

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NC
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Ontario Courts Rule Fines Not Enforcable

Postby NC » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:36 am

This is the one we've all been waiting for. The people who were sued by the UTE (an arm of PSAC) and Small Claims Court found for the union, because they did not show up in court.

They won!! Unions cannot enforce fines in Court. - LINK to Announcement

Here is the Full Decision
[60] For the above reasons, I find that the fines imposed by the Union on the Applicants pursuant to its constitution amount to a penalty imposed under a contract for the purposes of deterring members of the Union from crossing the picket line. I further find that the fines imposed do not amount to a reasonable pre-estimate of damages to be incurred in the event of a breach of the Union's constitution by crossing the picket line. I also find that the imposition of a fine and penalty equal to the gross income earned by any employee is unconscionable in the circumstances, making the penalty unenforceable even if equitable principles were applied. I also find that the authority to levy fines in the Union's constitution and the authority to collect the fines imposed in the courts are not authorized by statute. I also find that the imposition of a fine on Union members as discipline for crossing a picket line constitutes the imposition of a penalty and not the happening of an event.

[61] The Applicants' application is therefore granted and there will be an order that the Superior Court of Justice in the Province of Ontario will not enforce the fine/financial penalty provisions set out in the constitution of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the bylaws of the Union of Taxation Employees ("UTE"). The claim brought by the Union against the Applicants in the Small Claims branch of the Superior Court of Justice is dismissed.

[62] The Applicants will have 15 days to make submissions on costs. The Respondent shall have 15 days to respond and the Applicants shall have 10 days to reply.
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