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Skinner v. Pickard Construction

March 19, 2019

Breach of contract class action

What the class action is about

In February 2015, Goldblatt Partners issued a statement of claim against Pickard Construction, the Northern Employees Association (“NEA”), and a number of individual defendants seeking damages for union dues and fees improperly deducted from employees’ pay.

The claim alleges that, although the NEA was certified in early 1994 to represent Pickard’s employees, it was established by and for the benefit of Pickard and was not a trade union within the meaning of the Labour Relations Act, 1995.  In January 2015, the Ontario Labour Relations Board held that, at some point between 1994 and 2009, the NEA ceased to be a trade union within the meaning of the Labour Relations Act, 1995. 

The claim maintains that, after the NEA ceased to be a trade union, it was not entitled to union dues and fees. Accordingly, Pickard should not have deducted union dues and fees from employees’ wages, and the claim seeks damages payable to employees for those losses.

The proposed representative plaintiff is Daniel Skinner, a former employee of Pickard Construction.


March 19, 2019:  Judge’s endorsement and order now available

Justice Raikes has ordered that the class action be discontinued.

February 6, 2019: Motion for discontinuance granted

On February 6, 2019, counsel for the parties attended a telephone case conference before Justice Raikes to address the motion for discontinuance originally heard on November 16, 2018. Justice Raikes granted the plaintiff’s motion for discontinuance of the class action. This means that the class action is over. Any individual who wishes to bring their own claim may do so, subject to any applicable limitation periods.

The Notice of Discontinuance and the judge’s order will be posted here when they are available.

November 2018: Motion for discontinuance heard

The motion to discontinue the class action was heard on November 16, 2018.  Justice Raikes asked for additional evidence before making a decision. Counsel are in the process of collecting that evidence, following which the motion will be rescheduled.

August 21, 2018:  Plaintiff proposed case be discontinued

As the Ontario Labour Relations Board resolved the issue of union dues and fees, the plaintiff is proposing to discontinue this class action. The motion to discontinue will be heard by the Superior Court of Justice on November 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

August 10, 2015: Class action stayed

Justice Raikes of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice is the case management judge. At the plaintiff’s request, Justice Raikes has granted an interim stay of the class action on the basis that an application is pending before the Ontario Labour Relations Board seeking similar relief (OLRB File No. 3599-10-U). The stay will be lifted as soon as the Board issues a final decision.

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Labour Law