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Diversified Transportation accused of firing union supporter

The company also promised pay raises for non-unionized workers.

Earlier this week, the Alberta Labour Relations Board released their most recent New Applications Report. In the report is an application that alleges employer interference with union activity.

The application was submitted by Local 362 of the General Teamsters Union on 8 December 2022 and includes several labour complaints regarding the Edmonton-based employer, Diversified Transportation Ltd.

The Teamsters filed 4 specific complaints in their application.

The first complaint is that Diversified Transportation altered terms and conditions of employment during a statutorily mandated freeze period.

Their current collective agreement expires at the end of this month, and the two parties are currently in negotiations for the new contract.

The application alleges that the change in terms and conditions of employment violates section 147 of the Labour Relations Code, which states:

If a trade union has applied for certification, no employer
affected by the application shall, except in accordance with an
established custom or practice of the employer or with the consent
of the trade union or in accordance with a collective agreement in
effect with respect to the employees in the unit affected by the
application, alter the rates of pay, any term or condition of
employment or any right or privilege of any of those employees
during the time between the date of the application and the date of its refusal, or 30 days after the date of certification.

The second complaint claims that Diversified Transportation interfered with union representation of its users and trying to undermine the union, which they say breaches section 148 of the Labour Relations Code.

No employer or employers’ organization and no person
acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization shall participate in or interfere with the formation or administration of a trade union, or the representation of employees by a trade union.

The Teamsters’ third complaint is that Diversified Transportation fired one of their workers—Kimberly Blanchard—which they say interferes with the right of workers to support and be a member of a trade union.

No employer or employers’ organization and no person acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization shall refuse to employ or to continue to employ any person or discriminate against any person in regard to employment or any term or condition of employment because the person . . . has indicated in writing the person’s selection of a trade union to be the bargaining agent on the person’s behalf . . . has testified or otherwise participated in or may testify or otherwise participate in a proceeding under this Act

149(1)(a)(ii)(iv), Labour Relations Code

And finally, the Teamsters complained that Diversified Transportation posted memos regarding pay increases for non-union workers, which the union claim could lead to unionized workers wanting to sever their ties to the union.

No employer or employers’ organization and no person acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization shall . . . seek by intimidation, dismissal, threat of dismissal or any other kind of threat, by the imposition of a pecuniary or other penalty or by any other means, to compel an employee to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member, officer or representative of a trade union

149(1)(c), Labour Relations Code

Since the application notice is replaced each Monday, I’ve attached a copy below for anyone who’s interested in more information.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news stories, focusing on politics and labour.

2 replies on “Diversified Transportation accused of firing union supporter”

It would be interesting to read about the composition and track record of decisions by the present LRB. Especially given that this is the second item about Labour Relations that you’ve posted this week. When I finished reading your articles, I wondered what the likelihood would be of their positive resolution.
I used to follow that closely myself, but since I’ve retired, I have lost my connections.
Just a suggestion.

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