AH – 39
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
CANADIAN BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY, TRANSPORT and GENERAL WORKERS
IN THE MATTER OF THE GRIEVANCE OFP. H. Boyle
SOLE ARBITRATOR: H. Carl Goldenberg, Q.C.
A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal, Que., on April 20,1967.
Mr. P.H. Boyle, a clerk employed by the Company at the Toronto Express Terminal, was discharged for being absent from duty without authorized leave and for leading and participating in an illegal work stoppage at the Terminal from August 3 to August 5, 1966. 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 20,1967.
I find on the facts that:
1. At the time of the incident which led to Mr. Boyle’s discharge, there was considerable tension among railway employees following lengthy but unsuccessful negotiations on wages and other matters.
2. Mr. Boyle was then Financial Secretary of Local 26 of the Brotherhood in Toronto.
3. On the night of August 2, 1966, Mr. Boyle was in the office of Local 26. He was in charge of the office. That night CPR Express employees staged a walk-out and a number of them marched to Mr. Boyle’s office and demanded that he ordered the Company’s employees to leave their work. Certain threats were made.
4. Shortly thereafter, at about 12:40 a.m., August 3, Mr. Boyle walked over to the Terminal and ordered the Company’s employees off their jobs. The men were at work at the time. While alleging that he acted because of fear of violence by the CPR employees, Mr. Boyle admitted that he made no mention of such threats to the men when ordering the work stoppage. He said that he acted "as an executive officer of Local 26" in issuing the order. The men were apparently led to believe that he was acting with the authority of the Brotherhood.
5. The work stoppage ordered by Mr. Boyle 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 .
6. Having initiated the illegal strike, Mr. Boyle thereafter became a participant until the return to work.
Considering Mr. Boyle’s action in the light of his duty as an executive officer of the union to see to the observance of the collective agreement, which provides for the settlement of disputes "without stoppage of work", and considering the serious nature of the action, even in the atmosphere prevailing at the time, I find that 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 responsible for initiating an illegal strike.