Employer ordered to pay damages after mass indefinite layoff with no notice

Western Coal Corp. (Wolverine Mine) and USW Local 1-424, BCLRB No. B137/2014

The USW Local 1-424 successfully applied to the Labour Relations Board for damages under s. 54 of the Labour Relations Code when the Wolverine Mine laid off approximately 300 employees indefinitely and with no notice. This is the first Board case where s. 54 has been found to apply to a layoff. The Employer has applied for reconsideration and the case is ongoing.

Also of note, the Employer applied for a stay of the Board’s decision pending reconsideration. While the Board did not require the Employer to pay out money to employees, it rejected the Employer’s argument that it would be prejudicial to have to calculate the damages owed to individual employees while the reconsideration application is under review. The Board ordered the Employer to perform the calculations and set aside the amount of money owing to employees, pending the Board’s reconsideration decision: BCLRB No. B186/2014.

Craig Bavis and Stephanie Drake are counsel for the USW.