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BC Supreme Court upholds BC Ferries union exclusions

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge this week dismissed a B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers' Union application for a judicial review of a Labour Relations Board decision.

In 2011 the LRB approved an arbitration award that allowed B.C. Ferry Services Inc. to move some 161 employees who "perform management functions" out of the bargaining unit.

The exclusions included masters on all but minor vessels, senior chief engineers, chief engineers, senior chief stewards and chief stewards.

Affected officers last year said the exclusions will lead to safety risks. In March a BC Ferries official said the exclusions had contributed to a "severe challenge" to staff vessels.

On May 9, 2012, Justice Nathan Smith said in his reasons for judgement that "I am not persuaded on the submissions that the Award is inconsistent with governing Code principles concerning exclusions from a bargaining unit."

Nor could he say the result was "openly, clearly, evidently unreasonable, that it was clearly irrational, or that it fell outside of the range of possible, acceptable outcomes."

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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