Western Forest Products Inc. (the “Employer”) applied to the BC Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) requesting a declaratory opinion with respect to a “hot declaration” (aka “hot edict”) (the “Hot Declaration”) issued by the United Steelworkers, Local 1-1937 (the “Union”) and the BC Federation of Labour (the “Federation”). The Employer also alleged the Union and its members have engaged in unlawful picketing in contravention of the BC Labour Relations Code. The Union opposed the Employer’s request.
The intention of Hot Declarations is to exercise economic leverage on an employer during a strike or lockout by dissuading other unionized workers from dealing with the products or services from that employer during the term of the labour dispute. Here, while the members of the Union employed by the Employer were on strike, they labelled the Employer’s products with the word “HOT” to signal to other unionized employees who handled the product not touch them following a direction by the Federation to its members.
The Board held that a declaratory opinion in this case was not warranted. In making its decision, the Board considered that in the present case the Hot Declaration was against any of the Employer’s lumber, logs, and wood products and that despite this broad application, the facts of this case only concern those logs that emanated from locations that were on strike.
Further, the Board held that the Union had only engaged in unlawful picketing on one of the four dates on which the Employer alleged the Union engaged in unlawful picketing.
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