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May 2009

May 13, 2009 - National Post
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John Mortimer

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed union applications for leave to appeal lower court judgments in Alberta and Ontario. These rulings upheld the rights of workers against the tyranny of union leaders by reinforcing the common law that the courts cannot be used by unions to enforce discipline and collect fines.

May 11, 2009 - NCC - Press Release
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National Citizens Coalition

We were thrilled to see that the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of the PSAC against two brave freedom fighters. The fact that the Supreme Court judges refused to hear the appeal of the Ontario court decision is a great victory for hardworking Canadians who just want to earn a living and especially April Luberti and Jeff Birch.

Related articles
March 6, 2009
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National Post
May 9, 2009 - Ottawa Citizen
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Vito Pilieci

January 2009

Jan 1, 2009 - Law Times
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Alan Shanoff

May 2008

May 4, 2008 - The Canadian Press
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Colin Perkel

The power of a union to enforce solidarity in its ranks is set to come under the judicial microscope in a key test of whether the courts can be used to collect fines against members who cross legal picket lines.

February 2008

Feb 9, 2008 - Calgary Herald
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John Mortimer
Feb 6, 2008 - CHQR AM770 in Calgary
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Rob Breakenridge and John Mortimer
Press Release

The Provincial Court of Alberta rejected the Telecommunications Workers Union (the TWU) action to collect union-imposed fines from three TELUS employees who chose to cross picket lines during a 2005 strike. The Court found the TWU “court action” was an attempt “to give the authority of law” to union discipline.

Feb 2, 2008 - LabourTalk
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TWU Member web forum

This web forum hosts a Telecommunication Workers Union (TWU) section that has considerable comment from TWU members.

October 2007

Oct 23, 2007 - NUPGE Website
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National Union of Public and General Employees

The Ontario Superior Court has declined to enforce fines imposed by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) on "scabs" who crossed picket lines during a 2004 federal public service strike.

Click here to read the Webpost on NUPGE's website

Oct 23, 2007 - Ottawa Citizen
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Editorial

Unions have tried many different ways to enforce solidarity on members who refuse to toe the line. But a decision by Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Smith has closed the door, pending appeal, on one of them.

Press Release

The Canadian LabourWatch Association welcomes yesterday’s decision to protect union members who exercise their legal right to work during a strike. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice rejected attempts by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) to collect fines in court from union members who chose to cross picket lines.

Oct 18, 2007 - Ottawa Citizen
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Vito Pilieci

The Public Service Alliance of Canada cannot force its members to pay hefty fines for choosing to go to work and get paid while their colleagues are on strike, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled.

Oct 18, 2007 - Labour and Employment News
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Heenan Blaikie

In a significant decision limiting the rights of trade unions, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled that the courts will not enforce financial penalties levied by trade unions against members who choose to cross a picket line during a legal work stoppage. The ruling in Birch and Luberti v. Union of Taxation Employees Local 70030 will make it more difficult for trade unions to use the threat of fines and other penalties to enforce picket line solidarity. It will also enhance the right of employees to decide for themselves whether they wish to participate in a work stoppage.

October 2006

Oct 9, 2006 - National Post
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John Mortimer

This month, the TWU starts taking Alberta Telus employees to small claims court. These employees crossed picket lines during last year's four-month Telus strike, resulting in a myriad of fines. To date, the union brass has pursued collection through its internal "kangaroo courts." It's now trying the "we'll-see-you-in-court technique" to pressure members to pay up.

July 2006

Jul 31, 2006 - Western Standard
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Cyril Doll

What if unions lost the power to penalize workers for crossing the picket line? They're hoping no one takes them to court to find out.

June 2006

Jun 1, 2006 - Special to The Vancouver Sun
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John Mortimer

PSAC is not pleased by dwindling enthusiasm on Ekati's picket line, and is threatening to fine employees who work their jobs. Its message to those who don't toe the union line is coercive, but simple: Don't cross the line, pay the fine or do the time - in court.

May 2006

May 22, 2006 - Northern News Services
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Mike W. Bryant and Jason Unrau

After negotiations between the Ekati diamond owner BHP Billiton, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and Union of Northern Workers broke off April 7, the union threatened workers who refused to strike with legal action to recoup wages earned during the strike.

May 19, 2006 - Yellowknifer
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Jason Unrau

As workers who have crossed the picket lines allege that the union is planning to fine them for their decision, PSAC is remaining tight lipped.

May 12, 2006 - Yellowknifer (Unpublished submission)
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John Mortimer

Public Service Alliance of Canada message to those who don't toe the union line is coercive, but simple: Walk the line, pay the fine or do the time (in a court hearing).

April 2006

Apr 24, 2006 - Canadian HR Reporter
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Taking Sides:
Guest Commentaries by

John Mortimer, President, Canadian LabourWatch Association

No. And they’re not endorsed by a court

Nycole Turmel, President, Public Service Alliance of Canada

Yes. They protect collective bargaining

Nycole Turmel, Memo on fines, September 17, 2004

February 2006

Feb 25, 2006 - Regina Leader Post
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Neil Scott

The union that represents striking workers at the Sobey's store on South Albert Street is cracking the whip by levying fines against union members who have crossed picket lines and gone back to work.

Feb 24, 2006 - National Post
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Vito Pilieci

The Public Service Alliance of Canada is making good on threats to fine members who refused to walk the picket line during the massive 2004 federal strike, marking the first time a union in Ontario has levied such fines.

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