Court of Appeal of Quebec

Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec inc. c. Travaileurs et travailleuses unis de l'alimentation et du commerce, section locale 501

Pelletier, Rancourt, Baudouin

Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court dismissing an application for judicial review of a decision of the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT). Dismissed.

The appellant union sought to oppose a petition for certification filed by a raiding union, arguing before the TAT that the complaint for hindering union activities that had recently been allowed against the employer automatically triggered the certification prohibition set out in s. 31 of the Labour Code (CQLR, c. C-27). The TAT disagreed and ruled that the prohibition applied only to situations where the hindrance was in the form of [translation] “domination by the employer”. The trial judge determined that this interpretation and the TAT’s decision ordering the holding of a secret ballot vote were reasonable.

The TAT’s recital of the legal principles governing sections 12 and 31 L.C. was flawless. Its reasoning was logical, rational, and coherent. The TAT relied on the evidence and found an absence of collusion or of a relationship where the employer dominated the raiding union. Due to the lack of evidence, the TAT also rejected the idea that the hindrance caused by the employer, which discredited the accredited union, was behind the raiding union’s petition. These conclusions, taken from the evidence, are in line with the accepted legal principles. Last, the TAT’s remarks with respect to the appellant union’s position that any infringement of s. 12 L.C. triggers a prohibition on certification is a compelling example of an interpretation that is rooted in the TAT's in-depth understanding of its legislative scheme and that takes into account both the wording, context, and purpose of section 31 L.C.

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