CROA 0001 - 0499
Canadian Railway Arbitration Awards
Welcome! On this site, you will find more than 5,600 arbitration awards from the Canadian railway industry, in full text form, from 1965 to date, ready to be searched, viewed and printed out. Use the simple search engine below or the more advanced form. If you need help searching, or have any other questions or comments, click here to email me and I'll be glad to help if I can. - Abe Rosner
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We've just posted the December CROA awards - should be almost complete for 2016. You'll find them here: Latest CROA awards. And is it too late to say Happy New Year? Hope not.
Yes! We're now almost complete up to Ad Hoc 651: Ad Hoc awards. I'll fill in a few more soon. And it's been almost 20 years since I first posted railway arbitration awards on the internet. Gotta figure out an appropriate celebration...
Breaking news for arbitration geeks! I've posted about 115 additional Ad Hoc awards, dating between 1980 and 1992, ranging between AH 107 and AH 299. Anyone who really really wants the exact list can email and ask. From a more functional standpoint, they will appear as hits in the search engine results. Besides the usual suspects, the parties to these awards include CN Marine, CP Hotels, CP Telecommunications, CN Telecommunications, CP Airlines, Conship Ltd (I don't know what that was either), the Canadian Pacific Police Association, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, the Canadian Signals and Communications Union (both the latter being predecessors of the IBEW), BC Rail, and more. Enjoy!
Decisions from the October, November, and December sessions of CROA (numbers 4418 to 4430 inclusive) can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this page 4425 is coming, while 4426 was adjourned sine die. Happy New Year everyone!
Decisions from the June, July, and September sessions of CROA (numbers 4406 to 4417 inclusive) can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this page. As always, "refresh" your page if you're not seeing the latest version.
The May CROA awards heard in Calgary (M. Silverman) and Toronto (C. Schmidt) are now available, with two decisions still pending. We also have two awards from the April session in Montreal: CROA 4387 and CROA 4388.
Eleven arbitration awards heard in March by Arbitrators Silverman and Schmidt are now posted.
And welcome too, in this 50th anniversary year of the Canadian Railway Office of Arbitration, to Arbitrator Marilyn Silverman! She heard the January cases in Montreal. Awards 4352 and 4358 are still pending.
A warm welcome to Arbitrator John Stout, who has just issued the November CROA awards.
The following summaries reflect what I considered interesting in the awards. Please refer to the full decisions for the real story. :)
SHP 709: [CN v. CAW Local 100, Arbitrator J. Leslie Wallace]
CN terminated a 19-year-old Diesel Mechanic Apprentice, just four months after beginning his 4-year program, for "failure to display the desire and aptitude to learn his trade". After examining the incidents and the case law on termination of apprentices (including SHP 54, SHP 177, SHP 311, SHP 393, and SHP 649), the arbitrator concluded that "the Employer did not allow the Grievor a reasonable opportunity to modify his behavior and bring his performance to acceptable levels after being advised of the deficiencies". He reinstated the grievor with full compensation for lost wages and benefits.
SHP 710: [CN v. CAW Local 100, Arbitrator George S. Monteith]
A 61-year-old Rail Car Mechanic with 36 years of service was dismissed for "communication to fellow employees concerning threats of violence made towards a Company Officer". The arbitrator found that even though the grievor apologized at the subsequent investigation, his apology fell short of being "sincere and unconditional" - and that in fact he did not acknowledge any wrongdoing, characterizing his comments as a poor choice of words. Taking into account "the legal obligation of the Company to provide a safe workplace and the importance of deterrence to prevent any future incidents of this nature", the arbitrator maintained the dismissal.
SHP 712: [VIA Rail v. UNIFOR Local 100, Arbitrator Augustus Richardson]
In this case, a Lead Hand Heavy Duty Mechanic (with less than 3 years' service) was dismissed for "Conduct unbecoming and ongoing harassment of a fellow employee." The arbitrator found that the grievor's behaviour did indeed merit serious discipline (a six-month suspension), it fell somewhat short of justifying termination. In this case, however, the arbitrator found that reinstatement, even with a long suspension, was inappropriate, given that "there was a poisoned atmosphere at the grievorís workplace, and that the grievor played a role in its creation" - as well as a complete loss of faith or trust between the grievor and the Company. Accordingly, the arbitrator did not reinstate the grievor, ordering instead damages in the amount of two months' wages plus 15% in lieu of benefits.
SHP 713: [CPR v. UNIFOR Local 101R, Arbitrator William D. McFetridge]
This is in fact a series of three awards regarding an employee (with 36 years' service and 9 months short of eligibility for unreduced retirement at age 55) who was fired for allegedly being unfit for duty. The arbitrator found that the only credible evidence was a "smell of alcohol", and there was no sign of impairment - the grievor admitted having consumed two beers, the last one more than 2 1/2 hours before he reported for work. The arbitrator further noted that the company had in effect unilaterally created a rule that any employee subject to call while in "supplementary service" must be totally abstinent, which was an unreasonable rule that exceeded what the parties had negotiated in the collective agreement. He ordered the grievor reinstated with full compensation for all losses, including interest. He went on to say: "The Companyís disregard for its obligations of good faith and fairness in the termination of the grievorís employment caused him mental distress severe enough to warrant an award of bad faith damages which I assess at $5000."
SHP 714: [CN v. UNIFOR Local 100, Arbitrator Michel Picher]
This is another case involving the non-disciplinary termination of an apprentice, mainly because of absenteeism issues. The arbitrator decided to reinstate the grievor, without compensation, and subject to a two-year period during which he must maintain average or better attendance in his department.
SHP 715: [CN v. UNIFOR Local 100, Arbitrator J.F.W. Weatherill]
The union filed a contracting-out grievance in November 2012 after learning that about 20 locomotives had been sent to a U.S. contract shop for performance of heavy repairs and "capital" project work, in almost all cases without any prior notice to or discussion with the union. The company claimed it was under no obligation to notify the union because there was allegedly no material or adverse effect on employees (no one was on layoff at the time). CN also claimed that the work in question did not belong "exclusively" to the bargaining unit, and that in any case it could not have been done in Canada (primarily Transcona) with available staff and resources. The arbitrator ruled in favour of the union, finding that CN had indeed violated the contracting-out clause; that "most" of the work in question was protected by its scope; that Canadian employees had lost overtime opportunities (and therefore written 30-day notice was required); and that in all cases, even where there is no "adverse effect", discussions must precede contracting-out. He mandated the parties to determine how much compensation was owing to union members.
SHP 716: [CPR v. CAW Local 101, Arbitrator Michel Picher]
This 2007 award was just recently added to the SHP database. It concerns the dismissal for theft of an employee with 30 years' service. The arbitrator decided to reinstate him without compensation, finding that the grievor's behaviour did not constitute deliberate and concealed theft, but rather unreasonable hoarding of company items beyond what was needed in his work. The grievor's long service, his good prior record, and immediate apology and demonstration of regret also counted in his favour.
SHP 717: [Essex Terminal Railway v. UNIFOR Local 101R, Arbitrator Ted Crljenica]
This was a dispute about overtime pay based on the particular language of this collective agreement. The arbitrator disagreed with both the union's and the company's interpretation of the language - and dismissed the grievance.
SHP 718: [CPR v. UNIFOR Local 101R, Arbitrator Tom Hodges]
The grievor, a Diesel Mechanic Apprentice, was fired for failure to properly disclose relevant medical information, relating to substance abuse and prior rehabilitation treatment, on his pre-employment medical in 2007. The failure came to light only five years later, when he sought assistance for substance abuse from the Employee and Family Assistance Plan. The arbitrator held that: "His entire period of employment with CPR was predicated on a deception that he alone allowed to fester." He found that on all the evidence, including failure on the grievor's part to recognize his addiction, there could be no confidence that reinstatement with a last-chance agreement could repair the damage. The grievance was dismissed.
SHP 719: [CPR v. UNIFOR Local 101, Arbitrator Tom Hodges]
An employee caused a locomotive to derail on a shop track. He was assessed 25 demerits on that account (which was upheld at arbitration). He then tested positive in a post-incident drug test. Ultimately he was dismissed for failing the test, as well as "providing false and/or misleading information" during his formal investigation, when he speculated that the positive reading might have been caused by second-hand smoke. After reviewing the conduct of the company in conducting the investigation, the nature of the tests applied, the inordinate delays involved, and the lengthy period during which the employee was held out of service, the arbitrator concluded that the charges relating to "dishonesty" as well as "failing" the drug test were not made out. The employee was reinstated with full compensation.
CROA awards 4320-4332, issued in Montreal by Arbitrator Picher, are now available - except CROA 4236, which is adjourned until the September session. Enjoy your summer!
Arbitrator Christine Schmidt has issued five awards following the June session of the CROA in Edmonton.
Here are the May CROA awards (except CROA 4309, which is pending), heard May 13-15 in Montreal by Arbitrator Michel Picher.
The April CROA awards were issued by Arbitrator Michel Picher, following hearings in Montreal.
Finally got the March CROA awards posted. They were heard in Calgary by Arbitrator Christine Schmidt. Thanks for your patience!
And here are the February CROA awards, heard in Montreal by Arbitrator Michel Picher.
It's Valentine's Day - do you feel the love? Reading the January CROA awards might help! They were heard in Montreal by Arbitrator Christine Schmidt.
These are the December CROA awards, heard in Montreal by Arbitrator Michel Picher. Best wishes to all for the holiday season and a safe, healthy, and happy 2014!
Here are thirteen new awards from the November session of CROA, heard in Calgary by Arbitrator Michel Picher.
The October CROA cases 4242 to 4250 were heard in Montreal by Arbitrator Christine Schmidt. Welcome to our world!
And here they are, CROA awards 4230 to 4241 inclusive.
At long last, I'm posting Shopcraft awards 694 to 708 from CP, CN, and VIA Rail. I hope to comment later about some that looked particularly interesting. And/or, send me your questions or comments as well!
Here are 13 awards from the July CROA session in Montreal. Hearings will resume September 10, 11, and 12.
The awards are now available from the June CROA session in Edmonton.
Ten new awards and one supplemental award have been issued after the May CROA session in Montreal.
The April CROA awards are now available.
Best wishes to Colette Newton on her retirement from the position of General Secretary of the CROA&DR and many thanks for being the mainstay and strength of the office over so many years. And a warm welcome to April Dumas, who got right down to business by posting the awards of the January 2013 session in Montreal.
CROA awards 4150 through 4160 (except 4158, which is still pending) have been added - you can reference them by scrolling to the bottom of this page.
CROA awards from the October session (numbers 4141 to 4149 inclusive) are now available, as well as CROA 4110 from June.
Another 30 awards have been added to the database. You can find them by CROA number by clicking here and then hitting Ctrl-F to search the list, or of course by using the Freefind search bar above. Look for more Shopcraft and Ad Hoc awards soon.
Scroll to the bottom of this page to find SHP 679 through 693. And thanks to CN's Brenda Pye and Brian Stevens of the CAW for keeping us supplied and updated.
Technical difficulties with the CROA updates are on the road to being resolved. You will find the March, April, and May awards (from 4092S through 4109 inclusive) beginning here. Thanks as always to Colette Newton of the CROA&DR office for her help. June awards as well as Shopcraft updates will follow soon.
Here are the awards from the February CROA session, from 4085 to 4092 inclusive. We also have SHP 678 (CN vs. CAW re discharge of a car mechanic) and SHP 673, the final award in the VIA dental plan dispute regarding coverage of cleaning and scaling of teeth - the preliminary award can be found here.
for the lengthy absence... took a wrong turn somewhere!
While this site is somewhat in transition, you will hopefully now find that it contains all CROA&DR awards up to and including the December session (CROA 4073), all Shopcraft awards up to SHP 675, and all Ad Hoc awards up to AH 613. Most importantly, all these awards are now included in the search database.
The next step will be to resume summaries of interesting cases. In the meantime, I wish you a Happy New Year and lots of good reading and research. As always, if you find any error, or you need any assistance, please don't hesitate to send me an email at the link above.