Striking workers not entitled to holiday pay

Employees of an Ontario company who returned to work after Labour Day when the strike ended on the previous Friday are not entitled to holiday pay, an Ontario arbitrator has ruled.
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Workers at M&I Air Systems Engineering in Mississauga, Ont., went on strike on Monday, Aug. 28, 2006, after their union, Local 252 of the Canadian Auto Workers, could not reach a new collective agreement. Included in the old agreement was an article outlining designated paid holidays.

Employees were required to work on the “qualifying days,” which were the business days immediately before and after each holiday, in order to be paid for the holiday. The exception to this would be if the company was given reasons for the absence or if it authorized a leave of absence. A point of contention in the negotiations was the fact management wanted to change the exception by giving it discretion to approve or reject an employee’s reason for absence.

After continued bargaining, a settlement was reached on the first day of the strike and most employees showed up for work the following day, Aug. 29, 2006. However, the settlement was rejected by union membership and the strike resumed. This time, employees elected not to return to work until the settlement was ratified on Friday, Sept. 1, 2006.