Court of Appeal of Quebec

Parmalat Canada inc. c. Bulhoes

May 22, 2018

500-09-026023-168

Doyon, Schrager, Mainville

Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court dismissing the applications for judicial review of two decisions by the Commission des relations du travail (CRT). Dismissed.

CRT 1 allowed the employees’ complaints for breach of the union’s duty of representation. The employees were authorized to submit their complaint to the CRT as if it were a request under s. 39 of the Labour Code (CQLR, c. C-27) (L.C.). CRT 2 allowed the employees’ complaint on the merits and held that the employer’s rights and obligations had been transferred from its Laval distribution centre to its Montreal establishment. The applications for judicial review of the two decisions were dismissed.

The trial judge applied the correct standard of review, that of reasonableness, and was right not to intervene. Employees can contest their union’s action or inaction before the CRT, regardless of the subject (Cinq-Mars c. Montréal (Ville de), (C.A., 2016-10-13), 2016 QCCA 1665, SOQUIJ AZ-51331875, 2016EXP-3337, 2016EXPT-1923, J.E. 2016-1818, D.T.E. 2016T-803). An order authorizing the complainants to institute an action on their own under s. 39 L.C. falls within the broad powers conferred on the CRT by the Labour Code, in particular ss. 114 and 116 L.C. That the employees have no legal interest in an action under s. 39 L.C. does not prevent the CRT from exercising its broad remedial power. 

CRT 2 accepted that the clients and territories served by the Laval distribution centre were its essential organic components, not its equipment. Its conclusion that the employer’s two establishments had amalgamated was based on its assessment of the evidence and a reasonable interpretation of the notion of “undertaking”.

*Summary by SOQUIJ
Text of the decision: Http://citoyens.soquij.qc.ca. This link open an external website in a new window.

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