Great Canadian Railtour Co. v. Teamsters Local Union No. 31 et al. 2012 BCCA 238
Labour Law - Industrial relations - Remedies - Injunctions - Interim - Power to grant - General
Great Canadian Railtour Co. operated a tourist-oriented rail service. A labour dispute unfolded and Great Canadian locked out some of its unionized employees and continued operating using non-union employees and replacement workers. Great Canadian commenced a civil action, alleging that the union and some employees were engaging in picketing activities and were hindering and obstructing it from carrying on its business. Great Canadian sought injunctive relief.
The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a decision reported  B.C.T.C. Uned. 973, granted an injunction restraining union activities near the entrance and exits of company facilities (first injunction). A week later Great Canadian sought further injunctive relief.
The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a decision reported  B.C.T.C. Uned. 1720, granted an injunction (the second injunction), enjoining locked-out employees from: (a) “harassing in any manner” their employer’s replacement workers, passengers, customers, suppliers, and others; (b) “unlawfully watching or besetting” any current employees; and (c) “following or pursuing” any current employees, customers, suppliers, and others. The union and its members appealed respecting the second injunction, arguing that: (a) harassing could not be enjoined because such action did not constitute an independent tort; (b) aspects of the order were vague and unnecessarily broad; (c) aspects of the order were made without a proper evidentiary foundation; and (d) the chambers judge relied on “improper evidence”.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The court held that there was evidence before the chambers judge upon which he could conclude that the situation on the picket line had become more volatile since the first injunction was granted, and that further judicial action was needed to ensure that picketing remained within permissible bounds.