AH – 38
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
CANADIAN BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY, TRANSPORT and GENERAL WORKERS
IN THE MATTER OF THE GRIEVANCE OF J. J. Donohue
SOLE ARBITRATOR: H. Carl Goldenberg, Q.C.
A hearing in this matter took place in Montreal, Que., on April 20th, 1967.
Mr. J.J. Donohue, a porter employed by the Company at the Toronto Express Terminal, was discharged for being absent from duty without authorized leave, for leading and participating in an illegal work stoppage at the Terminal from August 3 to August 5, 1966, and for threatening violence to an officer of the Company. The Brotherhood claims that the discharge was unjust and requests reinstatement with full pay.
A hearing took place before me in Montreal, Que., on April 20th, 1967.
I find on the facts that:
1. Mr. Donohue was Recording Secretary of Local 26 of the Brotherhood in Toronto.
2. The employees of the Company’s shed staff at Toronto Express Terminal walked out at about 12:40 a.m. on August 3, 1966, but Mr. Donohue was not on duty at that time and only learned about the walk-out at approximately 8:00 a.m. when he was arriving for work.
3. On his arrival, Company Officers asked Mr. Donohue, as an executive officer of the Local, to request the men to return to work: after meeting with them, he reported that they refused to do so.
4. Mr. Donohue thereupon became an active participant in the strike and when some drivers, members of Local 327, who had been prevented from entering the Terminal by a picket line, appeared to be returning to work, Mr. Donohue intercepted them. He admitted that he felt that the drivers "should stay out with the rest."
5. While Mr. Donohue was not involved in instigating the walkout, he appears to have taken a leading role from the time of his arrival on the scene.
6. The evidence is not conclusive that Mr. Donohue meant to threaten violence to Mr. Pomfret, General Agent, West Toronto Express Terminal.
7. The work stoppage in which Mr. Donovan participated actively was illegal and in violation of the collective agreement between the parties and was neither authorized nor approved by the National Office of the Brotherhood.
Considering the nature of Mr. Donohue’s participation in the illegal strike in the light of his duty as an executive officer of the union to see to the observance of the collective agreement and that this agreement provides for the settlement of disputes "without stoppage of work", I find the penalty imposed is warranted.
Accordingly, the grievance is dismissed.
Signed at Montreal, Que., May 25, 1967.
H. Carl Goldenberg
COMMENTARY: This decision supports the Company’s action in discharging an employee for taking a leading role in an illegal strike and threatening violence to a Company officer.