The Registration, Recognition, and Certification Board(RRCB) has been ordered to pay the legal cost of a man and the trade union that he is a member of.
The development came after a High Court’s decision presided over by justice Joanne Charles deemed the requirement demanding the man’s trade union to possess a bank account for him to gain access to the industrial court as illegal.
Mitoonlal Persad and the Sanctuary Workers Trade Union was forced to take legal action against the RCCB after Persad was told that he would not be able to pursue a dismissal/termination case against his former employer Royal Bank of Canada(RBC).
The ordeal for Persad began in November, 2019 when the ministry of Labour asked the RCCB to acknowledge Persad’s financial standing with the union. When it was deemed that he was not, because of a bank account needed by the trade union both Persad and Sanctuary Workers Trade Union decided to sue the board.
In the short statement delivered by judge Joan Charles who had to determine whether the board was allowed to introduce such a practice she referred to Section 34(3) of the industrial relations act which stated that the board needed only to be satisfied that a union followed good accounting practices and the worker had made union contributions at least two months before initiating a trade dispute.
Charles went on to state that the IRA did not give the board any authority to create new rules altering the terms of section 34.
“In my view, the effect of the defendant’s requirements that the claimants comply with its Practice Note was to debar by any trade union from operating without a bank account when this was not prescribed by the act which provided only that the worker be ‘A member in good standing’ and that the union of which the worker is allegedly a member has followed ‘sound accounting procedures and practices.’ Charles said.
When Devant Maharaj, president of the union gave evidence before the court he stated that when the union was started in 2017 as a new union its membership was small and therefore a bank account was not needed at that time. He noted that the RCCB had checked the union’s books and records and saw no issues.