In a decision dated October 5, 2022, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) dismissed a duty of fair representation application filed by Bobbie Maharaj (“Maharaj”) alleging that IATSE Local 873 (the “Union”) had breached s. 74 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995.
Maharaj was a driver who was referred to a production through the hire hall process. On May 20, 2021, Maharaj was terminated from his employment on the production and other Disney endeavours for allegations that included using offensive and sexist language, sexual harassment, misogyny, insubordination, and repeated violations of the COVID-19 safety protocols. After he was terminated, he told the Union that he wanted the portions of the letter regarding sexual assault removed. The Union made those inquiries but Disney refused. Maharaj admitted to the Union more than once that several of the allegations were true. In light of these admissions and the seriousness of the conduct, the Union declined to file a grievance regarding the termination. Maharaj wrote a letter to the Union on September 4, 2021, to which the Union did not respond.
The Board agreed with the evidence of the Union. It held that Maharaj was an unreliable witness and that the Union had adequately followed-up with him and the employer after the termination. The Board held that the Union did not breach the Act. Rather, it held that there was objective justification for the Union’s conduct throughout the relevant period. The Union’s failure to respond to the applicant’s letter dated September 4, 2021 did not constitute a sufficient basis to grant the Application.