An arbitrator ruled in April that STC violated the Canadian Labour Code (CLC) by not providing enough notice when it terminated 50 or more employees at the end of May 2017.
The arbitrator, William Hood, said STC did not provide at least 16 weeks’ notice and ordered the company to pay 95 employees eight weeks and one day of wages for the violation.
Hood also awarded the union representing the employees $9,500 for the provincial government’s failure to establish a joint planning committee after the announcement to shut down the bus service was made.
The federal government is asking the Federal Court to quash the decision, stating among other arguments Hood operated outside his jurisdiction in making his ruling.
Opposition labour critic Nicole Rancourt wants the federal government to drop its action, calling their action “unacceptable.”
“The Sask. Party never should have shut down the STC, but it’s unacceptable for the federal government to be suing the former employees in federal court with an aim to take money out of their pockets,” said Rancourt in a statement on Monday.
“It doesn’t make any sense for the federal government to take this legal action against former STC employees. They have suffered enough.”
Rancourt also wants the Saskatchewan government to pressure the federal government into dropping the lawsuit.
“I hope the Sask. Party government will join us in calling on the federal government to stop meddling and to let the former employees keep their earnings,” Rancourt stated.
The Saskatchewan government has stated it obtained a legal opinion prior to shutting down STC and were told they were not violating the CLC.
A hearing date has not been set for the court to hear the case.