Court Dumps UFCW Gag Order Demand
"No Talk" Agreement Null and Void
A long campaign by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union to muzzle - forever - one of its former employees has ended in a crushing defeat for the union that calls itself "Your Voice at Work".
A decision issued yesterday by the Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed a request by the UFCW International Union for a permanent injunction which, if granted, would prevent former UFCW International Representative Hugh Finnamore, from ever speaking about the union publicly again.
In requesting the injunction, the UFCW relied upon a number of clauses in a grievance settlement that Finnamore signed in 1995. The settlement brought to an end a wrongful dismissal grievance he filed earlier that year and a number of lawsuits that he filed prior to his termination regarding suspicious transactions involving a UFCW local union's Education and Training Fund. Finnamore filed the lawsuits after his efforts to alert senior UFCW officials about his concerns in relation to the transactions fell flat.
Five years later Finnamore began writing about union reform in the major media, the UFCW commenced a lawsuit alleging, among other things, a breach of the 1995 agreement.
Yesterday's Supreme Court decision found that the 1995 agreement was dead even before the lawsuit was launched. What killed it? A peevish letter to Finnamore in May 2001 from current UFCW Canada Director Michael Fraser.
Apart from setting out the Court's decision, the judgment also provides chilling details about the events leading up to and following Finnamore's dismissal and the activities that prompted the UFCW to seek the extensive gag order in 2001.
More about UFCW v. Finnamore on MFD: