The BC Labour Relations Board recently issued an interim order against strike activity in a case alleging covert sabotage of the employer’s operations. In Pacific Press, a Division of Southam Inc., BCLRB No. B301/2000, the employer filed a complaint alleging that suspicious “web breaks” were occurring in the press run which might result in late publication of the newspaper.
The board found that the employer’s complaint made out a prima facie case that illegal strike activity was occurring. The union in response relied on a simple, flat denial that such activity was occurring.
The board found that in the event the allegations were true the loss of reputation to the employer in the event that the newspaper came out late could not be recaptured by any remedy available at the final hearing. In the event the allegations were not true, the union would suffer no penalty if ordered to refrain from activity which it asserted was not taking place. Accordingly, the board found that in the circumstances it was appropriate to issue the interim order, recognizing that the discretion to provide interim relief would only be exercised in rare and exceptional circumstances.
The board issued an interim order that refrain from engaging in unlawful strike activity against the employer.
(Click here for link to Decision)