Plaintiffs had avenues available within labour relations regime to challenge agreements

Ontario civil | Courts

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Plaintiffs had avenues available within labour relations regime to challenge agreements

Plaintiffs were unionized masonry contractors in industrial, commercial and institutional sector of Ontario’s construction industry. Defendants were construction trade unions. Plaintiffs entered into independent contractor agreements with bricklayers. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants entered collective agreements and memorandum of agreement that prevented plaintiffs from continuing to enter into independent contractor agreements. Plaintiffs commenced action against defendants claiming that memorandum of agreement and collective agreements were unlawful and void, seeking injunctive relief and damages for conspiracy, intimidation, inducing breach of contract and/or causing loss by unlawful means. Defendants moved for order dismissing or staying action on ground that court had no jurisdiction over subject matter of action. Motion was granted. Motion judge stayed action on ground that essential character of dispute was labour relations over which Labour Relations Board had exclusive jurisdiction. Plaintiffs appealed. Appeal dismissed. Motion judge applied correct test and reached correct result. Essential character of dispute fell within board’s exclusive jurisdiction. Plaintiffs had avenues available within labour relations regime to challenge validity of memorandum of agreement and collective agreements. There was no deprivation of ultimate remedy plaintiffs sought. Motion judge did not err in refusing to grant interlocutory relief.
Limen Group Ltd. v. Blair (Sep. 23, 2014, Ont. C.A., Doherty J.A., S.E. Pepall J.A., and M. Tulloch J.A., File No. CA C59045) Decision at 242 A.C.W.S. (3d) 421 was affirmed.  245 A.C.W.S. (3d) 200.

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