When Toronto postal worker and CUPW member William MacNeill found he was not on the list of members eligible to be elected to the 2011 union convention, he complained to his local president. Apparently, he hadn't attended an obligatory meeting and that made him ineligible.
The president told him to bring it up at the next local meeting. But MacNeill didn't do that or raise it any other meeting.
Instead, he filed a complaint with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) on October 5.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers convention came and went, on October 24-28, 20111. Meanwhile, the labour board released its findings on July 10, 2012.
The most significant element of the decision was the national labour board classed union conventions as "purely an internal union matter that does not fall within the scope of section 95(g) of the Code."
The decision also notes that "the complainant has provided no evidence to indicate that he attempted to obtain redress through the internal mechanisms provided in the union’s constitution prior to making his complaint to the Board."
So the next time a union member wants to contest a union decision, try complaining through the union first before running to the national labour board.
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