Federal Court Rules in Favour of Union! Judicial Review of Lafrance Decision

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Monday March 30 2015
2011-2015/386

On March 20, 2015, the Federal Court rejected Canada Post’s application for a judicial review of an important decision regarding the Union’s participation in health and safety inspections and investigations.

Canada Post was challenging a Health and Safety Appeal Tribunal decision rendered by Appeals Officer Richard Lafrance on August 8, 2013. This decision dealt with Canada Post’s refusal to allow Local Joint Health and Safety Committees (LJHSC) and Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) to participate in health and safety inspections and investigations regarding the use of the Traffic Safety Assessment Tool (TSAT) to assess the safety of rural mail box (RMB) mail delivery.

The specific case involves the refusal of Canada Post management to involve the LJHSCs and HSRs in the on-site inspections and investigations which took place concerning the implementation of the Traffic Safety Assessment Tool (TSAT) which was used to assess the safety of delivery to rural mail boxes. The Union had appealed this decision and after a legal battle that lasted several years, the Health and Safety Appeal Tribunal ruled in favour of the Union. Canada Post had then asked for a judicial review of this decision.

Now, after nearly eight years, the Federal Court has heard the case and ruled in favour of the Union once again.

This is an important decision. Canada Post is required to have LJHSCs and HSRs take part in RMB inspections, as well as providing all available information regarding TSAT use. In addition, LJHSCs and HSRs have the duty and obligation to take part in TSAT-related health and safety investigations.

The Union is proud of this major victory and never gave up. The Union will continue fighting to ensure that its members have safe and healthy workplaces and that Canada Post meets its health and safety obligations.

Gayle Bossenberry
1st National Vice-President (2008-2015)