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Rule that Refusing to Cross Picket Line is an Illegal Strike Under Attack
April 19, 2000

The Canada Industrial Relations Board’s ground-breaking ruling that refusing to cross a legal picket line can be an illegal strike is under increasing attack. The Canadian Labour Congress has applied for intervenor status the case which is now before the Federal Court of Appeal.

The case came out of the strike by PSAC in the early part of last year. PSAC represents the grain weighers and inspectors employed by the Canadian Grain Commission to perform work within grain terminals. When these employees picketed the grain terminals in the Port of Vancouver, members of the Grain Workers Union refused to cross the picket lines, shutting down the terminals. In March of 1999, the Board ruled that the refusal to cross the picket lines was an illegal strike by the grain workers despite picket line clauses in their collective agreement. The decision was more recently upheld by the Board on appeal. The grain companies are represented by Harris & Company counsel.

(Click here for copy of Decision)