Saying Non-Union Sites Are Safer Is OK; Saying They Have Less Turnover Is Not
Did a mining company commit an unfair labour practice by holding mandatory employee meetings at which it showed a video of an executive VP touting non-union sites as safer than union sites? No, said the Labour Board. Employers are free to express their views during union organization campaigns as long as they don’t use coercion, intimidation, threats or undue influence. There was no evidence that any of the workers who attended the meetings were intimidated or changed their minds on the union as a result of the safety claims in the video. However, what did cross the line were the VP’s comments that non-union sites have lower turnover, which the Board interpreted as a veiled threat [International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 721B v National Gypsum (Canada) Limited, 2018 NSLB 50 (CanLII), April 16, 2018].