News & Updates

Alberta Labour Relations Board upholds rights of laid-off utility workers to receive permanent status and benefits in temporary roles


May 30, 2024

The Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) has dismissed an employer (EPCOR)’s application to review an arbitration decision, after the arbitration board upheld, in part, a group grievance filed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1007 (Union).

The union members were among 32 permanent EPCOR employees laid off in late 2019 who were rehired within weeks on temporary assignments. As “temporary employees” the union members no longer participated in the Local Authorities Pension Plan, did not receive the same medical and health benefits, and were not included in EPCOR’s short term incentive program.

At arbitration, it was found that EPCOR’s layoffs were carried out for valid business reasons. However, the arbitration board went on to conclude that any permanent employees rehired in temporary positions retained their “permanent employee status” during the recall period, and should be treated as permanent employees during the 24-month recall period.

The ALRB upheld the arbitration board’s majority ruling, finding that the arbitration board’s interpretation of the collective agreement (specifically, the “re-hiring” provisions) was reasonable.

Click the link below to read the full decision:

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