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LABOUR RELATIONS - Employees - Seniority rights

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 @ 8:33 AM  

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Appeal by Cherrier from the dismissal of his application for recognition of seniority by date of hire as a protected right under the Charter. The appellant was formerly employed as a flight attendant by a company that merged with Air Canada. An arbitrator determined that seniority integration of the merged bargaining unit would be based on the members’ relative position on the seniority lists rather than on date of hire. The appellant sought a declaration that the integration of seniority rights based on relative position on a seniority list rather than by date of hire contravened his rights under the Charter. The application judge concluded the integration of the seniority rights of the merged lists did not infringe the appellant’s section 7 and 15 Charter rights.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. There was no basis to interfere with the application judge’s decision. There was no error in the application judge’s conclusions that the alleged devaluation of the appellant’s seniority concerned harm to economic rights, which were not protected under the Charter, and that the integration of the collective seniority rights in issue was properly addressed by the bargaining parties in a collective bargaining process. The application judge did not err in finding the integration of seniority rights did not result from any discrimination because of age or other analogous ground protected under section 15 of the Charter.

Cherrier v. Canada (Attorney General), [2019] O.J. No. 143, Ontario Court of Appeal, P.S. Rouleau, K.M. van Rensburg and L.B. Roberts JJ.A., January 15, 2019. Digest No. TLD-February252019005