Question

Playful Inc. (the "Company") is a unionized toys company with 900 employees that develops and sells...

Playful Inc. (the "Company") is a unionized toys company with 900 employees that develops and sells children's toys in North America. The Company's factories and offices are located in Ontario and the Company is an Ontario-regulated corporation. The union was certified on June 20, 2019 to represent the Company's entire workforce. The Company and the union has successfully negotiated a 3 year term collective agreement which was ratified and came into effect on April 1, 2020. On June 1, 2020 the Company announced that due to an unexpected increase in the cost of materials in Canada, they will have to consider contracting out some of the Company's production to the Far East. They invited the union to participate in conversations which will include some "unpleasant discussions around laying off some of our best employees". The parties engage in long conversations and fortunately find some alternative ways to cut some costs without contracting out and without laying off even one employee. Everyone is thrilled!

On July 7, 2020, Mani (29 years old) is caught on camera sleeping through his shift, and he is dismissed for cause. Mani goes to the union and requests to grieve his dismissal. He claims that he only closed his eyes for a few minutes ("someone may have tempered with the evidence") and only because he was required to work a double shift ("my supervisor can confirm this" and "you know I just had a baby and she never sleeps!") and that he has never ever had any previous issues in the 5 years that he has been working in the Company. The union files a grievance but is unable to settle the dispute. The union then makes a decision not to proceed to arbitration as they just made such an incredible progress with the management regarding the decision not to lay off any worker and they "would like to keep up the good momentum with the management".

a) Mani would like the union to proceed to arbitration. What type of complaint can he make? What are his chances of winning? What remedy he may be awarded if successful? [3 marks]

b) Let's assume the union proceeds to arbitration, discuss the legal arguments of both parties regarding Mani's dismissal, and explain how would the arbitrator decide this case. [3 marks]

Homework Answers

Answer #1

Answer a) Mani can file a complaint for injustice as he claims that he closed eyes for few minutes and the recording has been tampered.
He is most likely to win the case because he has no such record in past 5 years. Moreover, he recently had a baby.
If successful, he must be rehired and most likely to get less working hours with same pay.

Answer b) If the union proceeds to arbitration, the company will file a complaint for misconduct and violation of company's policies. Whereas, Mani will file a grievence for injustice. The arbitrator will give the verdict in Mani's favor as their is no such record in past and his condition of recently having a baby.

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