Shauna Van Sickle v. Local 873 [2010] OLRB Nos. 2541-08-OH; 1869-09-U; 1870-09-U (Ontario Labour Relations Board)

The Ontario Labour Relations Board dismissed an unfair representation, an unfair referral complaint and a complaint of employer reprisal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), which had been filed against the local by member Van Sickle.   Ms. Van Sickle, a truck driver, was the subject of complaints made by the Transport Coordinator and the Transport Co-Captain to the local President, alleging that she had failed to properly complete inspection logs as required by the Ministry of Transport’s Regulations.  After speaking with Ms. Van Sickle, the local President suspended her pursuant to the local’s Constitution and Bylaws, alleging that her conduct was “sufficiently detrimental and poses a threat to the best interests of the local” pending her appearance before the local’s executive board at its next scheduled meeting.  When Ms. Van Sickle failed to appear before the local’s executive board as requested, the suspension was lifted and a $100 fine was imposed for failure to appear before the executive board.  The arbitrator rejected the member’s duty of fair representation complaint on the basis that it did not relate to the union’s representation of her with respect to her terms and condition of employment but rather to the fact that she was suspended from the union’s hiring list with respect to subsequent employment.  With respect to the member’s duty of fair referral complaint, the arbitrator found that the local had complied with its own constitution and was not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith.  With respect to the OSHA complaint, the arbitrator rejected the member’s argument that the local in operating a hiring hall had acted as the employer or was acting on behalf of the employer in suspending Ms. Van Sickle; rather, it was responding to concerns with respect to the completion of an inspection log raised by two other union members. 

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