While lawsuits by employees against their union for doing a lousy job of representing them are common, the union almost always wins. One of the rare exceptions is the recent case against CUPE by a postal worker who got into hot water for possessing a stolen gift card. Finding her explanation less than believable, the union decided not to go to arbitration. The problem is that it didn’t hold a hearing or follow its other routine procedures for determining whether to arbitrate a grievance. So the court upheld the lack of fair representation complaint and ordered the union to defend the employee—but stopped short of ordering it to pay her legal costs [Canadian Union of Postal Workers v. Lang, 2017 FCA 233 (CanLII), Nov. 24, 2017].