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Duty of Fair Representation Complaints

In Canada the duty of fair representation (“DFR”) means that trade unions, which represent the interests of various employees in a workplace, must represent each and every one of their constituents fairly and in good faith when dealing with the employer. “Fairly” in this case has been defined to mean that the representation shall not be arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith.

These terms have themselves been further defined so that parties may be conscious of their conduct. A union is arbitrary in its representation when it acts in a superficial or indifferent way. A union is discriminatory in its representation when it allows factors such as ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disabilities to influence its conduct. Finally, bad faith is defined as ill will and outlines that a union shall not act with hostility or revenge against any of its constituents.