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Feb 21

Canadian Judge Halts Attacks on ATU Constitution

Unifor’s campaign dealt another blow

Silver Spring, MD – In another blow to Unifor’s anti-democratic raiding crusade, the legal challenge to the ATU Constitution and General Laws, filed by four ATU Local 113-Toronto, ON, members and funded in part by Unifor, came to a halt as Ontario Judge Paul Perell ordered a stay of the litigation.

The Judge held that the plaintiffs had failed to first exhaust internal union processes to address their concerns before bringing their complaints to the court.

“The Judge got it right. The ATU Constitution provides a mechanism by which members and locals can seek to amend the Constitution, and an ATU International Convention is the appropriate forum for any such debate,” said ATU International President Larry Hanley about the decision. “We make no secret of our disdain for the anti-union tactics of Unifor’s president. His Trump-style, anti-democratic campaign to build a border wall within the labour movement is hurting all unions and all working people.”

“Without these legal distractions, Local 113 can now continue to focus on securing the best possible collective agreement and fighting for the safety and health of their members,” Hanley continued. “I have every confidence that Local 113’s leadership, with the full support of its members and the International, is united and strong, smart and tough enough, to get that job done.”

Following a brief 2017 trusteeship, four members of the 13,000-strong Local 113 sought a ruling that certain provisions of the ATU Constitution are unlawful.

The Court held that it had jurisdiction over the issues raised but that it would not move the case forward until the plaintiffs at least made an effort to use internal union processes to amend the Constitution.

Any potential amendments to the ATU Constitution the plaintiffs may seek must occur at an ATU International Convention.

“We respect all of our members’ rights to propose amendments to our Constitution and applaud Judge Perell for recognizing these matters should be taken up by our members, at the local union and perhaps at the International’s Constitutional Convention,” said Local 113 President Frank Grimaldi. “We respect differing views and welcome the engagement by all of our members in the affairs of our local. We have a lot of challenges before us. That is for sure. Our local union will be working hard to fight for a strong collective agreement of which we can be proud.”