New Trade Union Act General Regulations addresses (in part) *snapshot* approach to construction industry unionization

Rick Dunlop

On April 24, 2019, the Nova Scotia Government created the Trade Union Act General Regulations so that the Labour Board will no longer consider a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday as the date of application for purposes of unionization in the construction industry.

As is explained in more detail in our April 4, 2017 article, Unionization in the Construction Industry: Vacation Day + Snapshot Rule = Disenfranchisement the Snapshot Rule, which only applies in the construction industry, provides that an employee who is not working on the date the union decides to file the application for unionization does not have a say on the unionization question.

As explained in the News Release – New Trade Union Act General Regulations, the rationale behind the regulatory change is that “[e]mployees have a right to fair workplaces where they can have their voices heard.” According to the Government, “[w]eekend work is a prime example of when a smaller group of employees can trigger the unionization of a larger workforce.” The Regulations are designed to prevent the weekend and holiday certifications.

Recent examples of the weekend certifications

Weekend certifications do occur. For example:

  • The Nova Scotia Labourers Union utilized the Snapshot Rule by filing an application on a Saturday.
  • An Ontario union utilized the Snapshot Rule by filing an application on a Sunday (which happened to be Father’s Day) when there were only two employees working (the employer regularly employed 12 employees).
  • The New Brunswick Labourers Union utilized the Snapshot Rule by filing an application on a Saturday when there were only seven labourers working (the employer regularly employed 33 labourers).

The “No Certification” days

The Regulation provides that if the Union files the documents required to be filed for the purposes of making an application for certification under section 95 of the Trade Union Act on the days identified below, the Labour Board will deem such documents to be filed on the 1st business day immediately after the day on which they are submitted:

  • Saturday;
  • Sunday;
  • New Year’s Day;
  • Heritage Day;
  • Good Friday;
  • Victoria Day;
  • Dominion Day (Canada Day);
  • Labour Day;
  • Thanksgiving Day;
  • Remembrance Day;
  • Christmas Day.

Whenever one of the above holidays, with the exception of Remembrance Day, falls on a Sunday, the holiday includes the following day.

It remains to be seen whether the August long weekend (called Natal Day in parts of Nova Scotia) is captured by the Regulations.

Regulations are a good start

The Regulations are an improvement from the perspective of employers and employees who believe that majoritarianism and democracy are not furthered by a union being permitted to “gerrymander” the constituency by choosing to file an application on a day that it knows a smaller group of employees than normal are working.

However, the Government’s rationale for this regulatory change is that “[e]mployees have a right to a fair workplace where they can have their voices heard”.  Therefore, it is difficult to understand why employees, who take a day off due to illness, disability, or vacation on a date that a union files an application that is not captured by this regulatory change, are also not entitled to a fair workplace where they can have their voices heard.


This update is intended for general information only. If you have questions about the above information, and how it applies to your specific situation, please contact a member of our Labour & Employment group.

 

Click here to subscribe to Stewart McKelvey Thought Leadership.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


Search!
Search!

 
 

The New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board affirms longstanding practice against piecemeal certification of bargaining units

July 8, 2019

Bryan Mills and John Morse On May 21, 2019, the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board (”Board”) dismissed an application by the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees (“Union”) seeking certification as bargaining…

Read More

Carbon pricing: Ontario Court of Appeal delivers constitutional endorsement

July 5, 2019

Jonathan Coady and Justin Milne The Ontario Court of Appeal has found that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act¹ is valid federal legislation.² The Act implements national minimum pricing standards to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.…

Read More

A Charter right to testamentary freedom? The NSSC decision in Lawen Estate

July 2, 2019

Richard Niedermayer, TEP, Jennifer Taylor and Bhreagh Ross, summer student There is a right to testamentary freedom under section 7 of the Charter, according to a recent decision of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. In…

Read More

Hydro-Quebec now subject to annual energy cap, but not a monthly cap, under much-disputed 1969 power contract: Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. v Hydro-Quebec, 2019 QCCA 1072

June 24, 2019

John Samms Introduction Much ink has been spilled on the controversial 1969 power contract between Hydro-Quebec and CFLCo (the contract) and last week the Quebec Court of Appeal added to the pile with its decision…

Read More

Final cannabis edibles, topicals and extracts regulations released

June 17, 2019

Kevin Landry On June 14, 2019, Health Canada announced the release of the final version of amendments to the Cannabis Regulations, which will permit for the production and sale of edibles, extracts and topicals. The…

Read More

Trademark changes

June 17, 2019

Daniela Bassan and Divya Subramanian The Canadian Trade-marks Act will be amended effective June 17, 2019. As a result, the Act will undergo a complete overhaul on various aspects of trademark prosecution, registration, and enforcement.…

Read More

Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – issue 04

June 12, 2019

We are pleased to present the fourth issue of Discovery, our very own legal publication targeted to educational institutions in Atlantic Canada. While springtime for universities and colleges signal the culmination of classes, new graduates…

Read More

How employers can protect themselves with respect to social media

May 29, 2019

Grant Machum and Richard Jordan   In an earlier article, we considered an employer’s options when an employee departs and takes with them the social media contacts they have obtained during the course of their…

Read More

Canada’s Digital Charter – a principled foundation for a digital future?

May 28, 2019

Matthew Jacobs and Daniel Roth (summer student)   “… we cannot be a Blockbuster government serving a Netflix society.” – The Hon. Minister Navdeep Bains paraphrasing the Hon. Scott Brison (May 2019, at the Empire…

Read More

New reporting requirements for beneficial ownership of federal corporations coming this June

May 24, 2019

Tauna Staniland, Andrea Shakespeare, Kimberly Bungay and Alycia Novacefski The federal government has introduced new record keeping requirements for private, federally formed corporations governed by the Canada Business Corporations Act (“CBCA”). The amendments to the…

Read More

Search Archive


Search!
Search!