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Alberta Courts will NOT enforce TWU fines

Talk here about issues with unions or companies in the Telecommunications sector.
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NC
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Alberta Courts will NOT enforce TWU fines

Postby NC » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:29 am

Well folks.. I bet you heard it here first....
[60] My judgment herein is summarized as follows:
1. The Plaintiff is not precluded from advancing its claims before this Court by the provisions of s.4(I)(a) and (b) of the Trade Unions Act.

2. The Plaintiff's claim against the Defendants is not an action in debt or damages. There is also no cause of action at common law or by statute authorizing the Plaintiff enforce the disciplinary penalties in a court oflaw.

3. The TWU constitution and by-laws do not authorize the TWU to seek redress in the courts for an internal disciplinary matter.
I am, at a time like this... at a loss for words. :lol:

The Telus decision is on our site

I have OCR'd it to make it possible to cut & paste, there may be the odd spelling mistake.


Find - Desiderata - read it

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Postby green1 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:49 am

So does this mean the TWU will finally stop wasting thousands of dollars of my money trying in obvious futility to fine me?

Maybe they should take this as a sign that it's time to work on UNITINNG their membership for once instead of spending a fortune trying to divide the members even further...



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Postby NC » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:54 am

I haven't read the whole thing, just landed in my inbox. Point 1 would suggest that there is recourse for them, and I suspect that whoever funds their efforts (The TWU) to pursue this action will be busy wooing the executive to join their union. So, If this goes forward it will probably be quietly funded by dues from one of the other huge unions.


Find - Desiderata - read it

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Postby green1 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:58 am

that's not how I read point one, I read it as saying that the union act doesn't stop them from going to the courts with their troubles, but that once they get there their sucess is contingent on the next 2 points that stop them from being successful in this particular type of action.



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Postby NC » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:06 am

Yes completely possible, you are right. Your better at this sort of stuff than I am, read it and let me know. :lol:

I will, if you want my trade secrets, use the OCR version to search for key words.


Find - Desiderata - read it

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Postby Mimi Williams » Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:38 am

Well, that appears to be that, then.

I wonder if any of these named individuals have children. It sure would be interesting listening to them teaching their children morals and ethics, "Well, yes, little Johnny a man's word is the most important thing in the world but it's okay for you to break your word in order to make a little extra money." or "Making a promise or signing a contract doesn't really count as long as you cross your toes when you're doing it."

These guys REALLY do have lots to celebrate, eh?

P.S. Thanks, NC, for getting us all access to the decision.



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Postby green1 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:47 pm

and just exactly what "word" would that be? the one where we would have a vote before going on strike? or the one where we wouldn't go back until we all went back? how about the one about 100% solidarity? or the one about how anyone who crosses will be fined? maybe the one about how none of the vandalism during the strike had anything to do with any union members? or the bit about how no union members would EVER threaten anyone...

Yes, I see how the union types are MUCH more honest...

Or maybe it's the illusion that people actually had access to even READ the constitution before signing that union card? I don't know about you, but the union application forms I've seen don't have any rules written on them at all... And last I heard, any contract you sign has to have the contract on it before it will hold up in court...

The only rules I have ever agreed to abide by are the law and my employment contract.



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Postby Mimi Williams » Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:06 pm

Sure, green1, if you would sign a document (application for membership)stating that you would comply with another document (constitution) and then later claim that you can't be blamed for breaking your word because you didn't read the constitution, then I am probably wrong on all counts. It's not a matter of morality or ethics, it's one of stupidity. I'm glad that we got that straightened out.



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Postby green1 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:42 pm

the membership form I saw didn't reference any other document at all, nor was any other document provided with it.

The only thing it stated that I was agreeing to was the company deducting the initiation fee from my pay cheque.

(FYI: I was smart enough NOT to sign the document. I don't need any of the "benefits" the TWU provides!)

*EDIT* I note that the form currently on the TWU site ( http://www.twu-canada.ca/member/forms/M ... ipAppE.pdf )does now say that you will abide by the constitution and bylaws, but I'm quite certain that the one I was mailed several years ago did not include that clause.

I should also note that a basic tenant of Canadian law is that you may not sign away a right that you would otherwise have under canadian law, therefore the section on not crossing a picket line would not be legally binding.



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Postby Mimi Williams » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:41 pm

That clause was always there.



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Postby Ash » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:18 pm

I wonder if any of these named individuals have children. It sure would be interesting listening to them teaching their children morals and ethics, "Well, yes, little Johnny a man's word is the most important thing in the world but it's okay for you to break your word in order to make a little extra money." or "Making a promise or signing a contract doesn't really count as long as you cross your toes when you're doing it."
I've said it before, and I guess I'll have to say it again. The so call contract between a union and its "signed" members goes both ways. By accepting a member into the union, the union agrees to represent the member's best interest during negotiations. The TWU broke its end of the agreement by putting its own political agenda ahead of the needs of its membership. It also denied its membership its democratic right to vote. By breaking the agreement, the TWU rendered the contract null and void. That was also the moment the TWU lost the moral high ground.


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Postby green1 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:23 pm

Now reading the full decision...

some interesting bits in there... agreed facts #6 states that the TWU did in fact go on STRIKE, a word they have up until now refused to use... (and in fact throughout the document the word strike is used to describe the situation)

I also now have a clearer understanging of point 1 as laid out originally, the defendants originally claimed that the union couldn't go to court to collect fines because the trade union act states as such, however the union managed to win that argument based on the TWU not being registered under the trade union act. Therefore they are allowed to go to court to collect damages specifically, but then further on it is declared that these fines are NOT damages, and therefore can not be recovered by the union.

The really important bits are three fold:
1) the fines are just as they are called, FINES, they are not a debt, nor are they damages. as such the court has no jurisdiction over them.
2) if the court were to have jurisdiction over them they would have to have been the ones to have assigned them in the first place, the court will not trust the union's trial process. further more they question the ability of the union being able to fairly assess fines after the fact (most likely due to the emotional nature of the issue)
3) by taking this to court the union has violated it's own constitution by attempting a punishment that is not laid out in the constitution (constitution says if fines are not paid the member will be kicked out of the union, it doesn't say they will be taken to court)

oh... and the really good part for the members that were sued:
The Defendants shall have costs against the Plaintiff. Counsel may make arrangements through the Clerk to speak to costs if necessary.
The union members that were taken to court will have all their costs covered by the union...



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Postby Cat Lady » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:23 pm

Well, that appears to be that, then.
The decision also states that it is now available for the TWU to take this to the next higher court - Court of Queens Bench.



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Postby Cat Lady » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:32 pm


(FYI: I was smart enough NOT to sign the document. I don't need any of the "benefits" the TWU provides!)
If you are not a member of the union, they can not fine you.



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Postby green1 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:50 pm

he decision also states that it is now available for the TWU to take this to the next higher court - Court of Queens Bench.
actually the decision specifically denies the move to transfer to court of queens bench...




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