Do arbitration clauses prevent unionized employees from suing for wrongful dismissal?
Section 48 of Ontario’s Labour Relations Act, 1995 is applicable in this case. It provides that collective agreements shall provide for final and binding arbitrations of matters relating to the agreement.
The Supreme Court of Canada confirmed in Weber v. Ontario Hydro that it will not assume jurisdiction in a case that should be dealt with via the grievance and arbitration process. The Weber test directs the court to first identify the “essential character” of the dispute and whether it arises explicitly or implicitly from the collective agreement.
The essential character of the dispute is determined by the factual context and not how it is characterized.
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