Class Action Against GM And CAW-Canada Dismissed

On February 15, 2005, the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld and order dismissing a proposed class action against General Motors of Canada Ltd. and representatives of CAW-Canada. The plaintiff claimed that General Motors and CAW-Canada misrepresented the terms of an early retirement agreement, causing him and other unionized employees to retire prematurely and suffer a monetary loss. The claims of the potential class members were valued by the plaintiff at $2.5 million. General Motors and CAW-Canada successfully argued that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the dispute, as the matter arose out of the parties’ collective agreement and engaged the union’s duty of fair representation. The dispute was held to be within the exclusive purview of labour arbitrators and boards.

General Motors of Canada was represented by J. Brett Ledger, Laura Fric and Jennifer Fairfax of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. The representatives of CAW-Canada were represented by Lewis N. Gottheil of CAW-Canada. The plaintiff was represented by C. Scott Ritchie, Q.C., James Virtue and Angela Whitehead of Siskind, Cromarty, Ivey & Dowler LLP.