Arbitrator gives employers a “nugget” for justifying in-plant surveillance

Saskatchewan Labour Arbitrator William Hood made the following comment in dismissing a grievance that challenged the installation of video cameras in a distribution centre that supplies product to hospitals and pharmacies:

The Employer’s implementation of a video surveillance system passes the reasonableness tests both in terms of need and manner of use. To suggest there first must be a breach of the security of the premises before one can justify the use of video cameras for security purposes makes no sense to me in the circumstances. Why would management wait until someone stole the gold to install video surveillance at the Royal Canadian Mint?

This is a nice statement for employers, though the award was carried on a number of good facts.

Re Saskatchewan Joint Board, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and McKesson Canada Corp. (Privacy Grievance), [2010] S.L.A.A. No. 26 (Hood) (QL).

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