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It’s a Dirty Job…

These dump truck drivers are fed up, and they’re not going to take it anymore.  Dirt that is.   In a protest about working conditions and safety practices, hundreds of dump truck drivers have parked their trucks and dump truckrefused to work in Toronto.  It’s not clear from the story whether these drivers are “employees” or “independent contractors”, unionized or not unionized.   If they are “employees”, is this an illegal strike?  Well, if we assume they are not in a “legal strike position” (that they have not passed all the hurdles necessary before a strike is lawful), then the only question is whether this is a “strike”.  Take a look at the definition of a “strike” in the Labour Relations Act:

“strike” includes a cessation of work, a refusal to work or to continue to work by employees in combination or in concert or in accordance with a common understanding, or a slow-down or other concerted activity on the part of employees designed to restrict or limit output

What do you think?  If it is a strike, what can the “employer” do?  If the drivers are not “employees”, because they are self-employed, do you think an agreement among drivers to refuse to work like this is unlawful?  Why doesn’t the government put a stop to the practice of overloading trucks?  Should the state be responsible for doing that?

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