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Unilateral Work Stoppage

Last updated: June 20, 2018

What Does Unilateral Work Stoppage Mean?

A unilateral work stoppage is a special privilege that allows an employee certified member or management certified member of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) to cease work of a position considered unsafe by a Labor Relations Board. The Occupational Health and Safety Act affords protective rights to workers who suspect their job and related duties and tasks is hazardous to their personal safety. A JHSC representative is summoned to investigate a worker’s claim(s) to determine whether a legitimate threat exists surrounding all aspects necessary to perform the work in question.

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WorkplaceTesting Explains Unilateral Work Stoppage

Employees, employers, a JHSC safety member, and/or trade union representative can exercise unilateral work stoppage based on reasonable grounds that safety is compromised. If a job position is declared unsafe by the Labor Relations Board, dictating immediate remedial action be made by the employer to eliminate the hazard. An investigation conducted by a JHSC certified member, along with the employer, cover distinct facets of the job including worksite area. This includes questioning employees accused of making threats, and/or use of treacherous equipment/machinery. In many cases, a JHSC certified member represents the worker while a different certified member represents the employer during an investigation process. An ensuing discrepancy between certified members requires an appeal to a Labor Relations Board for further inquiry into the matter.

Once the employer has taken initiative to remove the hazard, the certified JHSC member has the exclusive right to lift the order of unilateral work stoppage.

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