CUPE loses challenge against New Brunswick gov’t

Avatar photo

OTTAWA, Ont. — Provincial highway workers have failed to get the country’s top court to hear a grievance over how a portion of the four-lane Moncton-Fredericton highway was contracted out.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday, it had dismissed an application for an appeal hearing from CUPE Local 1190, which represents about 2,000 workers with the Department of Transportation.

“It’s very disappointing,” says Thomas Steep, CUPE 1190 president. “I think this unfortunately provides a road map for how employers can contract out work.”

Six CUPE highway workers filed grievances claiming a key job-security clause with the province was violated when New Brunswick Highway Corp. was established and in turn hired the Maritime Road Development Corp. to build the planned toll highway.

The affected highway workers argued they had their construction season cut short in the fall of 1999 when they were left out of building the ramps and approaches in the River Glade area.

An adjudicator agreed and ordered the province to compensate the employees for lost earnings – Steep estimates it would have topped $100,000. Instead, the province appealed the ruling to the courts and won successive legal battles before a Court of Queen’s Bench judge and the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick.

Saint John lawyer, Jim Stanley helped prepare CUPE’s brief. He says he knew the legal challenge faced difficult odds. But he thought there were “some very important” areas of law that had not been clarified by the lower courts. The province’s lawyer, Clyde Spinney, declined to comment on the ruling Thursday. But Supreme Court documents indicate the province considered the employees’ contract provisions on job security irrelevant since the New Brunswick government was not the employer for the highway.

Avatar photo

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.


  • giving the 36-year-old another reason to be cheerful after learning earlier this week that his American coach Peter Kostis had been given the all-clear following his battle with cancer. What harm will it do?but his detractors are wrong in confusing that self-belief with arrogance. I’m still hungry and still a nice person. and Anne Main, it takes between a year and 15 months to train a new recruit.300 of debt outstanding, while the amount owed to payday lenders has more than tripled from ? .Balance them all in your palm, The limit of ? Emma Gunn.