Finding Labour Arbitration Decisions

One difficulty with finding labour arbitration decisions is a lack of uniformity in the style of cause; sometimes the union’s name may be fully spelled out, other times it may be abbreviated, or it may be omitted altogether and the name of the griever used. As a result, it can be faster to find a decision by searching by arbitrator’s name and the dates rather than the party names.

CanLII, Quicklaw and WestlawNext all carry labour arbitration decisions, although their coverage varies. You can find them in the following databases:



  • All Labour Arbitration Awards database


There are two types of labour arbitration decisions: grievance arbitrations and interest arbitrations. Grievance arbitration is “a mechanism to resolve disputes about the interpretation and application of a collective agreement during the term of that agreement” whereas interest arbitration refers to “a mechanism to renew or establish a new collective agreement for parties without the right to strike/lock-out”.

Section 59 of the Canada Labour Code states “A copy of every order or decision of an arbitrator or arbitration board shall be filed with the Minister by the arbitrator or arbitration board chairperson and shall be available to the public in circumstances prescribed by the Governor in Council.” However, this only applies to grievance arbitrations and there does not appear to be an equivalent requirement for interest arbitrations under section 79 of the CLC.

Similarly, section 96 of British Columbia’s Labour Relations Code states that “An arbitration board must, within 10 days of issuing an award, file a copy of it with the director who must make the award available for public inspection.” British Columbia’s Collective Agreement Arbitration Bureau then forwards the decision to various agencies for public access.

Susannah Tredwell


  1. Thanks for pointing out that finding labour arbitration decisions can be difficult due to inconsistencies in the way the union is named. It makes sense that searching the arbitrator’s name and the dates will find you what you’re looking for more quickly. These databases seem really helpful in finding labour arbitration decisions, so thanks for sharing!

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