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Kuzych v White was a series of Canadian labour law decisions from British Columbia, dealing with a membership dispute between a trade union and a member of the union. Kuzych, the union member, publicly objected to the closed shop favoured by the Boilermakers and Iron Ship Builders Union of Canada (BISU). The union cancelled his membership, resulting in him being fired by the shipyard where he worked as a welder. Kuzych challenged the termination in the British Columbia courts, and eventually the matter was decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain, at that time the highest court of appeal in the British Commonwealth. The Judicial Committee ruled that Kuzych should have exhausted his appeals within the union before going to court, and upheld his expulsion from the un

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  • Kuzych v White
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  • Kuzych v White was a series of Canadian labour law decisions from British Columbia, dealing with a membership dispute between a trade union and a member of the union. Kuzych, the union member, publicly objected to the closed shop favoured by the Boilermakers and Iron Ship Builders Union of Canada (BISU). The union cancelled his membership, resulting in him being fired by the shipyard where he worked as a welder. Kuzych challenged the termination in the British Columbia courts, and eventually the matter was decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain, at that time the highest court of appeal in the British Commonwealth. The Judicial Committee ruled that Kuzych should have exhausted his appeals within the union before going to court, and upheld his expulsion from the un
name
  • Kuzych v White
foaf:depiction
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:FilePath/Welder_making_boilers_for_a_ship_1a35230v.jpg
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:FilePath/Viscount_Simon.jpg
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caption
  • A welder working on ship-building
citations
court
  • Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
full name
  • William Lloyd White and others v Myron Kuzych
italic title
  • Yes
judges
keywords
  • Union membership; internal appeals
appealed from
date decided
decision by
  • Viscount Simon
number of judges
opinions
  • Union member who is expelled from union must exhaust appeals under the union constitution before applying to the courts for relief
subsequent actions
  • --12-17
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has abstract
  • Kuzych v White was a series of Canadian labour law decisions from British Columbia, dealing with a membership dispute between a trade union and a member of the union. Kuzych, the union member, publicly objected to the closed shop favoured by the Boilermakers and Iron Ship Builders Union of Canada (BISU). The union cancelled his membership, resulting in him being fired by the shipyard where he worked as a welder. Kuzych challenged the termination in the British Columbia courts, and eventually the matter was decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain, at that time the highest court of appeal in the British Commonwealth. The Judicial Committee ruled that Kuzych should have exhausted his appeals within the union before going to court, and upheld his expulsion from the union. Since the leadership of the BISU was dominated by members of the Communist Party of Canada, the dispute was portrayed at the time as an individual worker opposed to radical unionism. More recent scholarship has shown that Kuzych was actually a more radical socialist than the union leadership. He disapproved of closed shops because in his view they weakened unions, by interfering with the democratic rights of union members. He also believed that the closed shop co-opted the union leadership into assisting the employer to maintain workplace productivity, at the expense of the interests of the union members themselves. The dispute was driven by ideological differences within the union movement, and occupied the courts of British Columbia for close to a decade. The decision of the Judicial Committee was simply one stop along the long litigation road — and not the final stop, at that. Before the matter was concluded, six judges of the British Columbia Supreme Court, five judges of the British Columbia Court of Appeal, and five law lords in Britain had given decisions in the various aspects of the dispute, from 1944 to 1953. There were also two attempts to appeal related matters to the Supreme Court of Canada. The case continues to be cited by Canadian courts for the requirement that union members must exhaust internal union settlement procedures before resorting to the courts. The same principle has been applied more generally, to other private organizations with internal appeal processes.
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