Alberta board orders Guardian Ambulance to stop interfering

Health Sciences Association of Alberta wins ruling against anti-union company based in Red Deer

Edmonton (29 June 2006) - The Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) has ordered Guardian Ambulance Ltd. of Red Deer to stop interfering with an organizing drive by the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE).

In January, HSAA filed a complaint with the board, accusing Guardian Amulance of interfering with legal HSAA activities by distributing an anti-union letter during an organizing drive.

In a decision issued this month, the ALRB agreed with the union and ordered Guardian Ambulance to cease interfering in HSAA's organizing efforts.

The board ruled that Guardian crossed the line between protected free speech and illegal interference by distributing an anti-union letter declaring that the company would "not willingly sign an agreement with a third party."

As a result, the board concluded from this statement that Guardian would "not make reasonable efforts to enter into a collective agreement with a bargaining agent of the employees' choice" and would "not abide by its obligation of good faith bargaining imposed by the Labour Relations Code."

The board said Guardian's message is that choosing HSAA as the bargaining agent is "not only unwise (an opinion), but futile (a threat)." NUPGE