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You Be The Judge

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Turkeytop
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You Be The Judge

Post by Turkeytop » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:08 pm

The Company employs 160 people manufacturing aircraft components in a small Ontario town.

One of the employees had recently been named Union Steward for his department. He decided to take his copy of the collective agreement home and study it. In reading it, he came across something that surprised him.

It said the Company would pay each employee a bonus of $100.00 every December. He had been working there three years and he had never been paid the bonus.

The next day he asked the other Union Reps in the plant and they knew nothing about it. Some of the longer term employees said they remembered getting it years ago, but a long time ago.

The Union met with the management to inquire about it. Turns out the bonus hadn’t been paid for the past 9 years. Nine years ago, the Company had experienced a very difficult year. They had met with the Union and asked if they would agree to waive the bonus for that year. After consulting with its members, the Union signed an agreement to waive the bonus for that one year only.

The Company didn’t pay the bonus the following year, or for any of the next seven years. It was just forgotten about.

The Union filed a grievance, demanding the Company pay each employee $100 for each year that the bonus had been withheld without a waiver from the Union. A total of $800. Per employee.

Does the grievance succeed?



zzand
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by zzand » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:20 am

I would hope it does. They are standing on firm ground with their claim.



Rate This
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Rate This » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:06 am

I say they negotiate and agree to pay it out according to longevity. So you get each $100 you were entitled to. The 1 year guy does NOT get $900 though.



Mike Oxlong
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Mike Oxlong » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:44 am

I do have a question. It's a contract between the company and the union. Was the steward looking at the current contract? I want to ask that because, as you well know, contracts are negotiated every few years. The bonus, it seems to me, would be initially on an older contract. I could be wrong.

I do find it interesting that it needed to be grieved. Once the two sides sat down, and it was brought to the company's attention, it seems they would of said "Yup, you're right, we owe you money". They didn't do that. I wonder why.

Based upon the scenario you posted, the company has to pay up. A contract is a contract.



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Turkeytop
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Turkeytop » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:49 am

The steward was reading from the current, collective agreement. The parties had agreed to the one time waiver of the bonus during the first year of a three year contract. The parties have bargained three times subsequent to that.

When a new agreement is negotiated, everything in the old agreement is automatically renewed unless the parties agree to change it.

In this case, the parties had bargained three times and had never addressed the issue of the bonus.



MotorCityRadioFreak
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by MotorCityRadioFreak » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:50 pm

It absolutely should unless the contract expired during that time. A new contract which excludes that provision negates it.

I took a labor relations class in college. Loved it. I did my paper on the NHL lockout. Truly one of the most interesting papers I ever wrote.


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Turkeytop
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Turkeytop » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:05 pm

The Company and the Union met in an effort to settle the grievance. The Company offered to resume the annual payments going forward, provided the Union withdraw its demand for retroactive payments.



Mike Oxlong
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Mike Oxlong » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:47 pm

Turkeytop wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:49 am
The steward was reading from the current, collective agreement. The parties had agreed to the one time waiver of the bonus during the first year of a three year contract. The parties have bargained three times subsequent to that.

When a new agreement is negotiated, everything in the old agreement is automatically renewed unless the parties agree to change it.

In this case, the parties had bargained three times and had never addressed the issue of the bonus.
I hope you're not a union official at the local that is involved. Because I have to say this:
The people at the hall should be ashamed of themselves for not knowing their own contract. A shop steward catches this? You say this contract has been bargained three times? None of the nit-wits on the bargaining committee are reading what they are negotiating? None of the nit-wits at the hall know their own contract?
No matter the outcome of the grievance, this should be the last term for every elected official at that local.

I'm confident any arbitrator would award what the union is calling for. No doubt.



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Turkeytop
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Turkeytop » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:28 pm

Mike Oxlong wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:47 pm


I hope you're not a union official at the local that is involved. Because I have to say this:
The people at the hall should be ashamed of themselves for not knowing their own contract. A shop steward catches this? You say this contract has been bargained three times? None of the nit-wits on the bargaining committee are reading what they are negotiating? None of the nit-wits at the hall know their own contract?
No matter the outcome of the grievance, this should be the last term for every elected official at that local.

I'm confident any arbitrator would award what the union is calling for. No doubt.

This wasn't my Union. It's just a case I came across while doing my research for a similar case. (maybe I should post that case too.) Also, I changed the details slightly, just to simplify the issues..

The Union rejected the Company's offer to settle and applied for arbitration.



MotorCityRadioFreak
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by MotorCityRadioFreak » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:03 am

I would be interested to see what the mediator/arbitrator ruled. Pretty sure Mike Oxlong is correct.


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Turkeytop
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Turkeytop » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:46 am

This case went to arbitration The parties agreed on the facts of the case, so it was unnecessary to call witnesses They simply proceeded to argue the case on its merits without either side having to present any evidence.

When the Company presented their argument they invoked the Doctrine of Estoppel.
In its simplest sense, doctrine of Estoppels, precludes a person from denying or to negate anything to the contrary of that which has been constituted as truth, either by his own actions, by his deeds or by his representations
The Company argued that, by its acquiescence to the Company's failure to pay over a period of years, the Union had effectively waived its right to enforce the language now. According to the Company the Union, through its acquiessence had represented that it would not enforce that provision of the contract and the Company had relied to its detriment on that representation. Had they known the Union intended to assert it's right to enforce the provision, they could have addressed it during collective bargaining. Therefore, according to the Company, the Union should be estopped by the Arbitrator.



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Turkeytop
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Turkeytop » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:22 pm

Wow. Four days and four responses. This thing has really gone viral. :lol

OK. I won't keep you in suspense any longer.

The Arbitrator awarded partly in the Union's favour. The one year waiver the parties signed was in the first year of a three year agreement. The Arbitrator ruled that the Company must pay out the bonus for the second and third years of that agreement.

But she also ruled that the Union is estopped from demanding the bonus for the six years after that.

The bonuses that were payable for the two years were only payable for people who were actually employed with the Company during those years.

For workers entitled to the bonus but no longer employed by the Company, she directed the Company to send payment to their last known address. If any came back as undeliverable, the Company would not be required to make any further effort to locate the persons.

Finally, the Arbitrator put the Company on notice that, after the next round of collective bargaining, they would be required to resume payment of the annual bonuses if that language was carried over into the new agreement



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Bryce
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Bryce » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:06 pm

The ruling makes perfect sense to me


Are you certain Nancy didn't think the sign on the door said SALOON instead of Salon?

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Turkeytop
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Re: You Be The Judge

Post by Turkeytop » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:32 pm

After I read the case, I called the Rep of the other Union who had presented the case. He said it went pretty much as he had expected it to.

Most of the peple entitled to the bonus were still employed there. The Company mailed out payments to four former employees and three were returned undelivered.

Although they weren't required to under the terms of the award, the Company resumed payment of the annual bonus that year.

At the next round of collective bargaining, the Union put forward a proposal to eliminate the bonus payments and to roll an equivalent amount into the hourly rate (about 5¢/hr) The Company agreed.


Now. I haven't seen your views on this one.

https://mibuzzboard.com/phpBB3/viewtopi ... 14&t=51935



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