Society of Energy Professionals

Society of Energy Professionals

July 19, 2005 15:51 ET

Energy Professionals appeal injunction against picketing

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 19, 2005) - Professional employees on strike at Hydro One have appealed a ruling limiting picketing at Ontario Power Generation and Bruce Power sites.

"We believe Mr. Justice Campbell overstepped his authority," said Keith Rattai, Hydro One Local Vice President of the Society of Energy Professionals. "If his ruling stands, it effectively outlaws our constitutional right to picket."

In his ruling, Mr. Justice Campbell accurately noted that Society picket lines were "entirely peaceful," that no intimidation had occurred, and that those stopping at the lines were supportive of the picketers.

Mr. Justice Colin Campbell made a number of errors in his ruling, the appeal says, including:
· barring picketers from "delaying ... or attempting to delay" those with whom they wish to communicate, irrespective of whether the behaviour involved would amount to unlawful conduct
· issuing an injunction against picketing at sites that had not been picketed, and for which no or insufficient evidence had been provided
· in the absence of new evidence, issuing an injunction against picketing at sites for which earlier applications for injunctions had been dismissed
· issuing an injunction against picketing at Bruce Power LP, where no picketing has been held, and Bruce Power LP had not applied for an injunction

The appeal notes that "Picketing is a vital and constitutionally sanctioned means of collective expression in modern labour relations and Courts have held that it may be limited only to the extent necessary to prevent otherwise unlawful conduct."

The Society is concerned that Mr. Justice Campbell's ruling effectively bars its members from talking with employees at any of the generating stations across Ontario, although Hydro One has facilities at these sites and Society members work at them.

Energy professionals employed by Hydro One have been on strike since June 1st, fighting Hydro One's unfair demands for a two-tier wage and benefit schedule that discriminates against younger professionals, and an effective 11 per cent cut in wages for most employees.

The Society of Energy Professionals represents more than 6,000 professional employees in the electricity industry in Ontario, including engineers, scientists, supervisors, and others. The Society is an affiliate of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers.
/For further information: for further information, please contact Brian Robinson at (416) 716-6438/ IN: ENERGY, LABOUR, TELECOMM

Contact Information

  • Brian Robinson, Communications Officer, Society of Energy Professionals
    Primary Phone: 416-716-6438
    E-mail: brian@society.on.ca