The Union’s application for judicial review of Arbitrator Steinberg’s decision regarding the B1 Passes Policy grievance (CHQ-15-07) was dismissed by the Divisional Court. The Union had argued that the company made a promise during bargaining in 2011 not to award travel passes with a higher priority to any other group of unionized employees and that Air Canada broke that promise by giving B1 passes to pilots in 2014. Arbitrator Steinberg found that the company’s promise did not extend to the passes given to the pilots and dismissed the union’s grievance.
The Union’s application for judicial review was heard on May 29, 2019. The Divisional Court appeared receptive to our lawyers’ arguments and reserved judgment.
Yesterday, the Divisional Court issued its decision (Click HERE). Ultimately, the court decided not to disturb the Arbitrator’s decision. Labour arbitrators are owed deference by a reviewing court for their expertise and in this case, the court found that the Arbitrator had expertise to appreciate the labour context in which the promise was made and that his decision to dismiss the union’s grievance was reasonable.
This is a disappointing decision but the Union greatly appreciates and thanks its members for their dedicated support to this hard-fought battle to hold the company to its promise.