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Union Dues Must Be Collected During Lockout
December 11, 2007

The B.C. Labour Relations Board has held that an employer must collect and remit union dues from employees who work during a lockout, rejecting the employer’s argument that it should be relieved of the obligation because the collective agreement had expired.

During a lockout the employer, a department store, had invited employees to return to work on the terms of its final offer in collective bargaining. The Union complained that the employer’s refusal to collect dues from employees who came to work breached the unfair labour practice provisions of the Labour Relations Code. The Board found that the employer had bargained in good faith and its failure to collect and remit dues was a genuine misapprehension of its legal obligations. The employer was ordered to collect and remit the dues but was not found to have committed an unfair labour practice.

Sears Canada Inc. -and- Local 213 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, BCLRB B240/2007.