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Our Advisory Committee

ALLEN PONAK

Allen Ponak, BA, MLIR, PhD - has arbitrated since 1985 and is a listed arbitrator in a number of national and regional collective agreements. He has been a faculty member at UBC, McGill, University of Calgary, and University of Saskatchewan. His film, “Beyond Collision: High Integrity Labour Relations”, won a Silver Screen Award at the 2005 Los Angeles International Video and Film Festival. In 2015, Allen was named the winner of the prestigious Bora Laskin award for his contributions to Canadian labour law. In 2015/2016 he was president of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the fourth Canadian president in the Academy’s 70 year history. Allen is the past academic program director for the Edwards School of Business Labour-Management Relations Certificate Program. 

Arbitration Practice​

Allen has been arbitrating grievance and interest disputes since 1984 in the private and public sectors in multiple industries including (among other): supermarkets, air traffic control, hospitals, education, municipal and provincial governments, mining, post office, trucking, airlines, warehousing, refineries, television, manufacturing, and security services.

 

Grievance cases have covered the normal range of issues one would expect in a varied practice: contract interpretation, discipline and discharge, promotion, discrimination, alcohol and drug testing, harassment and bullying, union and management rights, remedies, and jurisdiction. Interest arbitration cases generally focus on salary and other compensation issues.

 

Allen is a named arbitrator on a number of panels, including:

  • Potash Corporation and United Steelworkers of America

  • Canada Post Corporation and Canadian Union of Postal Workers

  • Government of Alberta Arbitration Roster

  • McNally Robinson Books and United Food and Commercial Workers Union

  • Government of the Northwest Territories and Union of Northern Workers

  • Finning International and International Association of Machinists

  • Global Television and Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union

 

Outside of labor and employment, from 2005 – 2016, Allen chaired a 3-person committee that supervised commercial arbitration between contractors and home buyers in the province of Alberta.