Oct 15, 2019


ILWU 502 represent the planners at Global Container Terminals and ILWU grieved GCT’s posting process which gave priority hiring to bargaining unit members, then Union members not in the bargaining unit, then external candidates. The Employer did not tell the Union when the postings opened or how members could apply. Ryan Copeland argued that because the Collective Agreement did not require the Employer to provide that information to the Union, all parts of the hiring process were governed management rights and the Union had no basis for a grievance because no bargaining unit members applied for the positions.

The arbitrator, John B. Hall, found that:

“The Employer accurately observes there is no express requirement in the Collective Agreement to provide the Union with notice of actual postings, and maintains its notice obligations in respect of vacancies are limited to Articles 15.01(a) and (e).

To elaborate, Article 15.01(c) creates a reasonable expectation that Local 502 members will have an opportunity to apply, and there will at least be a “level playing field” in that respect. All three categories should receive comparable notice and direction regarding critical details of a vacancy such as how to apply and when the posting will close. This does not constitute an impermissible amendment contrary to Article 8.07 of the Collective Agreement. Rather, it flows from the uncontested responsibility of the Employer to post in a fair and reasonable manner having regard to the three categories of individuals who comprise the single “applicant pool” (to adopt the Employer’s terminology).

The Employer made no effort to communicate with the Union or Local 502 members about the actual postings and/or how to apply for the vacancies.

The Employer noted in a December 20 email to the Union that there were “no Local 502 applicants” for the three positions filled by the external candidates. The explanation is simple: Local 502 members did not receive reasonable notice of the vacancies. I am not persuaded by the Employer’s various arguments to the contrary.”


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