Striking miner Roger Warren was found guilty of causing the explosion that killed nine scabs working at the Giant Mine on September 19, 1992. The NWT and Nunavut Workers’ Compensation Board filed suit on behalf of eight widows against the employer, the union, the NWT government, and Pinkerton's - and were awarded $10.7 million in a rather bizarre (IMHO) and highly controversial decision. The NWT Court of Appeal overturned that decision in 2004, ruling that none of the defendants had any ability or responsibility in controlling Warren's actions.
Now the [url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2008/11/27/scoc-giant.html?ref=rss]... Court[/url] has agreed to hear the appeal against that latest decision.
Holding unions liable for the actions of members who are engaged in criminal behaviour outside of and contrary to any union policy or direction is a nice wet dream for employers everywhere. All they'd need is one agent provocateur to break the unions' back for good. I feel sorry for the widows, but I rather fail to understand why anyone owes them anything except for Roger Warren, the insurance companies, and the government, to the same extent that it ought to look after anyone in financial distress or who has lost an income support.
It's particularly unfortunate, and rather horribly ironic, that they have allowed themselves to be used as anti-union cannon fodder.