TORT LIABILITY FOR STRIKES IN CANADA: SOME PROBLEMS OF JUDICIAL WORKMANSHIP
AbstractThis article discusses issues of tort liability surrounding trade unions and collective bargaining in Canada. In particular, it examines the impact of compulsory collective bargaining legislation upon the common law. Through a discussion of several cases, the author examines the various techniques by which the common law imposes liability for strikes. Specifically, he discusses the tort doctrines currently employed by the courts such as the doctrine that breach of the Labour Relations Act per se confers a civil cause of action, the doctrine of civil conspiracy, as well as the doctrine of intentional interference. The author then discusses two particular decisions as a means of examining arbitration as an alternative to litigation in such cases. He concludes with a discussion of the physical, institutional, and analytical difficulties arising from cases imposing liability for strikes in Canada, and offers some of his own suggestions for counteracting such difficulties.
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