Re National Sea Products Co and CAW

Document Type

Arbitration Decision

Publication Date



Lay-off Status, Severance, Seasonal, Atlantic, Closure, Interpretation


This grievance is brought by the Union to determine the effect of a previous award respecting lay-off resulting from closure of a fish processing plant. The Union claims that in calculating severance entitlement, the Employer has not distinguished between two types of lay-off. Due to the seasonal nature of the work, and the failure of the Atlantic fishery, most employees had been laid-off for a significantly longer period than this when the Employer announced closure of the plant. Consequently, by the Employer's calculation, severance pay is due to only about forty (40) employees out of a total workforce of 600-700. The Union protests that this rigorous interpretation could not have been the intention of the parties. This interpretation is open to abuse, allowing an employer to lay-off all employees six months before a closure, thus avoiding its obligations to remit severance pay.


Summary available on CanLii and at the Sir James Dunn Law Library via Canadian Labour Arbitration Summaries. Full text available online at WestlawEdge Canada and Lexis+ (subscription required).