Damages awarded against employer who uses replacement workers

In the course of its four-month-long lockout of CUPE Local 7000 members, Southern Railway kept a fraction of its trains running by using excluded managers as replacement workers. But a railway can’t run unless its track is maintained. Track maintenance is work that CUPE members do and not many managers are qualified to operate the machinery that’s involved. On January 23, 2015 Southern Rail brought in a contractor, A&B Rail Services, to replace a number of railway ties at a switch area on Annacis Island.

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Right to Strike Protected by the Charter

Today the Supreme Court of Canada issued the decision in the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour case on the right to strike---and yes, it is constitutionally protected.
The case can be found at the SCC website at http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/14610/index.do.

My favourite quote from the majority 7 to 2 decision written by Madam Justice Abella is this:

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Essential Services and The FortisBC Inc. Lockout of IBEW 213

British Columbia deals with essential service labour disputes differently from most jurisdictions.  Rather than the familiar game of industrial “chicken” (where unions press their strike actions as far as they can before government intervenes with back-to-work orders and lopsided arbitration) we have a “controlled strike” mechanism.  The Labour Relations Board designates specified levels of services and staffing as essential;  the parties are free to strike or lock out so long as the designations are maintained.

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