IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION BETWEEN :
International Longshoremen"s Association , Local 1259 , hereinafter called , "the Union" ,of the one part
CN Marine Inc. , hereinafter called , "the Company"
,of the other part
PURSUANT to the collective agreement the parties had agreed upon Judge Natan Green to act as a single arbitrator in the matter of a dispute between the parties .
The union was represented by J. Reeves Matheson , Barrister and the company was represented by Mr. Nelson B. Price , manager , labour relation for the company .
The parties had agreed that the arbitrator was seised with juridiction and a preliminary objection had been raised which had been dealt with by the arbitrator on an award dated the 17th of novembre 1980 in which the arbitrator had dismissed the preliminary objections .
The Arbitrator now met with the paries to determine the issue in dispute which is " the establishment of appropriate gang sizes for operation utilizing ROLOC equipment " .
The union again raised a preliminary objection at the hearing based on the same argument made in the first hearing , namely , that the parties under article 15.15 of the collective agreement had failed to meet to discuss and attempt to reach agreement on gang sizes . The arbitrator rules that this was the same objection which had been made in the previous hearing on which he had made a finding and held the preliminary objection was not valid in the circumstances .
The parties had met on june 12 , 1980 to commence negotiations in accordance with article 15.15 of the agreement .
Article 15.15 reads :
" In the event that ROLOC equipment is introduced , the gang sizes specified in Articles 15.13 and 15.14 shall be utilized initially , but such gangs shall be recongnized as tentative . After 10 days of regular ROLOC operation (i.e. after ROLOC has been utilized on any 10 days to the exclusion of the stands ) the parties shall meet within a further 21 calendary days , with the object of reaching agreement on final ROLOC gang sizes . If full agreement is not reached within a period of 21 calendar days from date of their first meeting , the matter shall be referred to a single arbitrator who shall fix the final ROLOC gang size (s) . The arbitratorís decision shall be final and binding . The principles of articles 14.4 , 14.7 , 14.8 and 14.9 shall apply ."
At that meeting the company had proposed that the present 20 , 17 and 31 man gangs should be reduced to 12 , 10 and 15 respectively when utilizing ROLOC equipment . The union took the view that the numbers were not realistic and had failed to put forward any proposals of their own to the end that the matter eventually came to this arbitration process .
The three gang sizes were devised for pre ROLOC operations .
These gangs showed in article 15.13 , 15.14 . Article reads :
"Gangs for the M.V. "Marine Nautica " , " Marine Atlantica " ,and "Stena Nordica " , on the basis of present method of operation , shall consist of 20 men for the main deck and 17 men for the second deck , except as provided in article 15.14 ".
Article 15.14 reads :
"Where , on the M.V. "marine Nautica " ," Marine Atlantica "or " Stena Nordica ", a tie-down is restricted to not more than 15 piggyback or Mafi units on the main deck , a single gang of 31 men shall apply for the entire vessel in all modes of opperation ".
The company had proposed that with the ROLOC the equivalent gang should be 12 , 10 and 15 respctively and their proposal reads as follows :
The normal deployment of men in the pre-ROLOC gangs and the proposed normal deployment in the new gangs are as follows :
Complete Tie-Down Main Deck Proposed ROLOC Gang
1 Checker 1 Checker
2 Forklift Operators 11 Stevedores - 1 doorman
17 Stevedores - 1 doorman 2 spotters
4 spotters 8 blockers
1 Checker 2 Winchmen
1 Forklift Operator 8 Stevedores - 2 spotters
2 Winchmen - 6 blockers
13 Stevedores - 3 spotters
Article 15.14 Main Deck Proposed ROLOC Gang
1 Checker 1 Checker
2 Forklift Operators 5 Stevedores - 1 doorman
15 Stevedores - 1 doorman 2 spotters
4 spotters 2 blockers
1 Checker 2 Winchmen
2 Winchmen 7 Stevedores - 2 spotters
10 Stevedores - 3 spotters 5 safetymen
- 7 safetymen
The Company outlined in its brief the system for pre-ROLOC operation . I propose to set it out as it appears in their brief as this discribes the method in which the ROLOC operation is carried out .
An understanding of the pre-ROLOC and ROLOC operation is essential in determining proper gang sizes .
A tractor trailer would arrive on the Company property and the transport company driver would parc the trailer in a designated parking area where he would wind down the legs , detach is tractor from the trailer and proceed to the ticket office to complete the necessary documentation before leaving CN Marine property with his tractor . The trailer was left in the designated area until a vessel was ready for loading .
When the trailer was to be loaded on the vessel , a CN Marine Tractor Trailor Operator would connect a yard trator to the trailer and a Stevedore ( legman ) would wind up the trailer legs . When the legs were up , the unit would proceed to the vessel where a Stevedore ( spotter ) would direct the tractor trailer operator to where the trailer would be placed . The placement of the trailer involved backing and for this reason another Stevedore ( spotter ) was located at the rear of the unit to ensure the trailer would not be backed into another vehicule . When the trailer was in the desired location , a Forklift Operator place a steel stand alongside the trailer . Two stevedores ( 1 blocker , 1 legman ) then positioned the stand under the trailer just behind the locking pin . The tractor trailer Operator would then lower the trailer onto the stand , detach is tractor from the trailer and depart to pick up another unit . A Stevedore ( legman ) would wind the trailer legs down to the deck of the vessel . The trailer would then be lashed to the deck by other Stevedores ( blockers ) according to the prevailing situation , i.e., complete tie-down situation , 6 lashings would be used - 2 in front , 2 in the middle ,and 2 at the rear . Limited tie-down situation - only 2 lashings at the front would be used .
In discharging a vessel all lashing and stand were removed by Stevedores ( blockers ) and the stands were taken away by forklift Operators . The tractor trailer operator would then connect the yard tractor to a drop trailer and the legs would be raised by a Srevedore ( legman ) on the vessel . The unit would then be taken to the parking lot where another Stevedore ( legman )would lower the legs . The tractor trailer Operator would then disconnect his tractor and return to the vessel to pick-up another trailer . The trailers remain in the parking lot until picked up by the consignee .
The ROLOC System
There is no change in procedure insofar as the transport company driver is concerned when he arrives on the company property .
After the trailer is dropped in the designated area a CN Marine tractor trailer operator picks up a ROLOC unit and connects it to the trailer . The trailer legs are then wound up and the yard tractor disconnected . The tractor operater repeats the operation with another trailer until all tracteor less trailers have a ROLOC unit attached . The winding up of the legs - in any ROLOC operation , as at Port aux Basques , Saint John and Digby - is accomplished by the tractor operator . In the present North Sydney situation , where the gang size cannot be reduced pending conclusion of the article 15.15 process , the company agreed that the Stevedore ( legman ) can be utilized . Letter covering this situationis attached as Exhibit 1 .
When the vessel arrives and is ready to load trailers , the tractor trailer operator connects to a unit and proceeds to the vessel . When the unit is aboard the vessel , a Stevedore ( spotter )directs the tractor trailer operator to the proper location on the deck where the ROLOC unit connects to a button on the deck . Once contact is made with the button , the unit is unable to travel further thereby eliminating the possibility of damaging a vehicle at the rear of the trailer . A Stevedore ( Blocker ) would then secure the ROLOC unit to the button by a lock-nut . In a limited tie-down situation , the ROLOC unit is the only means used to fasten the trailer to the deck .In a complete tie-down situation two lashings are applied to the rear of the trailer . Sometimes six lashes depending on conditions as determined by the master .
In discharging a vessel , all lashings are removed and the lock-nut on the ROLOC units are released by Stevedores ( blocker ) The tractor trailer opperator then connects his yard tractor to the ROLOC unit and takes the trailer to the parking lot where he drops the trailer and proceeds to the vessel to repeat the operation until the vessel is fully discharged .
After the vessel is fully discharged the tractor trailer operator should lower the legs on the trailer and disconnect the ROLOC units . The trailers are then ready to be picked up by the consignee .
For the Company in the foregoing analysis sees the following positions redundant :
a) Stevedore ( legman in the parking lot )
The original purpose of this position was to wind the legs up on trailers going aboard vessels and down on trailers being unloaded during the actual loading / discharge sequence with the thought that this would facilitate on-time performance .
The introduction of the ROLOC system allows the tractor trailer operator and these tractor trailers are machines owned and operated by the company and the drivers are well trained and proficient in their specific task . With the introduction of the ROLOC system the tractor trailer operator has time to prepare the trailers for loading prior to the arrival of the vessel and wind the legs down after a vessel has been fully discharged . Therefore as it is unnecessary to wind the trailer legs up and down at the time of loading and discharging the vessel this position in the 20 and 31 man gangs becomes redundant with the ROLOC system .
b) Stevedores ( legmen on the vessel )
These employees were used to wind the trailer legs up and down on the vessel and assist in positioning stand under the drop trailers .This work is no longer required with the ROLOC system as the legs are not put down on the vessel and stands are no longer used .
It is the companyís view in the light of this technological change is that one position in each of the 20 and 31 man gangs becomes redundant and two positions in the 17 man gang .
c) Forklift Operators
The only essential function of the forklift operators was to move the heavy metal stands that were used to support the drop-trailers . The ROLOC system has eliminated the use of stands .
Consequently two positions in each of the 20 and 31 man gangs and one position in the 17 man gang become redundant since there were two forklift operators in 20 and 31 man gangs and one in the 17 man gang .
d) Stevedores ( working as spotter )
There are four spotters in the gang employed on the main deck and three in the upper deck gang . Two ofthe spotters onthe main deck are positioned on the port side and two on the srarboard side . The upper deck gang has three spotters , two to position traffic on the deck and one to guide traffic onto the elevator .
The ariginal purpose in having two spotters in a particular location was for trailers that had to be backed into position . One spotter directed the tractor operator while the second spotter was at the rear of the vehicule to signal the driver when to stop to avoid a collision .
With the ROLOC system , one spotter guides the tractor operator into position to make contact with the deck button . Once contact is made , the unit is prevented from backing any further and eliminates any possibility of a rear end collision and the necessity for a second spotter on either side of the main deck .
As a result of this it is the companyís position that there are a further redundancy of two positions in each of the 20 and 31 man gangs .
e) Stevedore (working as blockers )
The function of the blockers is to lash vehicles to the deck of the vessel and in the pre-ROLOC time they assisted in the handling of the metal stands . In a complete tie-down situation 10 blockers are employed on the main deck and 8 on the upper deck . In a limited tie-down situation 8 areemployed on the main deck and none on the upper deck .
The company submitted statistics on the traffic study for seven mounths in 1979 in which full tie-downs were employed which indicated the following :
Type of Lasings per No of Total % of
Vehicle Vehicle Vehicles Lashings Total
Passenger related 4 16,786 67,144 31
Straight Truck 4 2,766 11,064 5
Tractor Trailers 8 10,028 80,224 37
Tractorless Trailers 6 9,654 57,924 27
TOTAL 216,356 100%
Passenger-related vehicles are tied down with a binder type lashing which is easy to apply . All other vehicles are secured with a sea-safe lashing which is more time consuming to apply than the binder type and quite often requires two men to apply it .
The ROLOC system reduces the number of lashing necessary for tractorless trailers by four per unit and according to the company statistics this represents an 18% reduction in total lashings in accordance with the foregoing statistics , a 26% reduction in the numberof Sea-Safe lashings .
The company proposes to reduce the number of blockers on the main deck from 10 to 8 and on the upper deck from 8 to 6 . This represents a total reduction in blockers of four . With the reduced lashings brought about by ROLOC and the elimination of the handling of the stands the total reduction in workload is in excess of 22% . Therefore there are further redundancies of two positions in each of the 20 and 17 man gangs , according to the analysis made by the company .
In the 31-man gang or limited tie-down situation no lashings at all are required . The only function of a blocker is to secure the lock-nut on the ROLOC unit to the button on the deck . This operation can easily be performed by two blockers , thus making six positions in this gang .
f) Checkers ( Full Tie-down Situation )
There is one Checker in the 20-man gang employed on the main deck and one in the 17-man gang on the upper deck . Both of the Checkers are located in the parking lot for the purpose of coordinating the flow of traffic to their respective decks on instructions from their foreman .
In actual practice , the upper deck foreman normally relies on the main deck foreman and checker to inform the drivers on which deck they will be placed . It is only on the rare occasion that the upper deck foreman will communicate directly with his checker and this position is surplus as it unoccupied for the vast majority of the time .
The schedule provides adequate time to allow one checker to perform the required tasks thereby making the checker assigned to the 17-man gang on the upper deck redundant .
g) Stevedore (working as a spotter on the elevator )
The fuction of this position is to spot traffic on the elevator during the loading and unloading sequence . When traffic is in position on the elevator , this employee signals the winchman , who is locate next to the elevator , to press the button to raise or lower the elevator .
The button used to raise and lower the elevator is located at one end of the elevator attached to the engine casing . The Winchman is idle while traffic is being directed onto the elevator and he would have the time to direct this traffic and operate the elevator without delaying the flow of traffic and without detracting from the safety of the passengers and vehicles that are caried on
The company therefore concludes that the spotter in this position is redundant in each of the 17-and 31-man gangs .
h) Turns and Safetymen ( Limited Tie-Down Situation )
The portion of the 31-man gang in a limited tie-down situation involved at ramps and turns consists of one checker and 9 stevedores ( 2 spotter , 7 safetymen ) .
When traffic is being routed from the main deck to deck #4 via the ramps , these employees are used to direct the drivers . The locations of the 10 employees are as follows :
1. Checker - used as a spotter just inside the vessel on the main deck directing traffic to the ramp laeding to deck #2
2. 1st safetyman - is at the top of this ramp .
3. 2nd safetyman - is at the bottom of the ramp leading to deck #3 .
4. 3rd safetyman - is at the top of thi ramp .
5. 4th safetyman - is at the end of the engine casing directing traffic around the turn .
6. 5th safetyman - is at the bottom of the ramp leading to deck #4 .
7. 6th safetyman - is at the top of this ramp .
8. 7th safetyman - is at the end of the engine casing directing traffic around the turn .
9. 1st spotter - directs trafficaround other end of the engine casing and into parking location .
10. 2nd spotter - positions vehicles into parking location .
When the 4th deck is loaded , the traffic is routed to deck #3 and the spotters and safetymen proceed to deck #3 .
It is the companyís position that five safetymen and two spoters properly positioned can perform the same tasks withtout slowing the process or affecting the safety of the passengers . The proposed locations for these employees would be as follows :
1. 1st safetyman - used on the main deck directing traffic to the ramp leading to deck #2
2. 2nd safetyman - at the bottom of the ramp leading to deck #3 .
3. 3rd safetyman - at the end of engine casing on deck #3 to direct traffic around the turn .
4. 4th safetyman - at the bottom of the ramp leading to deck #4
5. 5th safetyman - at the end of the engine casing on deck #4 to direct traffic around the turn .
6. 1st spotter - at the other end of the engine casing directing around the turn and into final parking location .
7. 2nd spotter - directing vehicles into final parking location .
Thi positioning makes redundant the checker ahd two stevedores ( safetymen ) assigned to the 31-man gang .
Based on the foregoing analysis made by the company , its position is that ROLOC gang sizes of 12 , 10 and 15 men are completely adequate to load the vessel in a safe and efficient manner .
The unionís position is that the analysis made by the company might apply in a strictly ROLOC situation but the cargo carried on these vessels is a mixed one , that is so say , there is some ROLOC and some roll-on and the union has expressed deepconcern because the operation is a mixed one , on the matter of the safety . Its concern is that if the gang sizes are reduced , taking into account the environment in which the operation takes place , particularly the matter of noise and moving traffic , which the union contends is a continuous movement of traffic until the ship is loaded that there is the ever present danger of someonne either getting in the way of a vehicle or the possibility of a vehicle striking one of the chain lashings which might break and result might be disastrous to any of the men working in that particular area . The union felt that it was absolutely necessary to have two spotters when the tractor trailers were being put on to the button.
In effect , it is their position that if two spotters had been required up to the implementation of the ROLOC opration there was a great deal added to their workload because of the requirement that they had to guide the trailer operator on to the button , keeping in mind that the vehicle had to be vere close to the side of the ship in order to allow the spae for the other vehicles to come on and be properly loaded and being constantly concerned about the possibility where the trailers are all being backed into position and require forward and backward movement to ensure that the vehicle did not get too close to the side of the ship and indeed did not slip off of the button and collide with the trailer behind it .
It was the companyís position that the driver of the tractors were efficient poeple who knew what they were doing and that indeed they could never watch two people at one time . They relief on one spotter and and they relied on their mirror and that is was not necessary to have two spotters .
As for the companyís position on the legmen , the union relied on article 5 , subsection 4 which set out classification explicitly for truck drivers , tractor trailer operators and contended that since there was an explicit classificationfor doing a certain job that to suggest that the person in that classification be asked to do something else was in contravention of the collective agreement . The foregoing was the unionís position on the matter of any employee who is in a specific classification doing any other kind of work , other than that which fell exactly within the classification .
The company cited Article 5.3 which reads :
"An employee who is temporarily assigned for 60 minutes or more , cumulative , in any one day , to carry out the dutties of a higher rated position as though hired in that classification and not merely as a helper to a higher rated employee , will be paid the rate for such position on the minute basis . An employee temporarely assigned to a lower rated position will not have his rate reduced ".
It is the Companyís position that the 5.4 sets out positions but does not preclude the company under 5.3 from assigning any employee in any so-called classification from doing any other kind of work so long as he gets the rate of pay to which he is entitled if the job to which he is assigned pays a lesser rate than that of the classification .
As for the elevator , the unionís position was that the winchman could not do the spotterís job . They testified that there had been accidents on the elevator and the safetyman or the spotter was essential to ensure that the elevator was properly loaded besides which the winchman has an explicit classification and there might be blind spots and it was a classified job and he is not to do a stevedoreís work .
As for the vehicles being loaded on the upper decks it is the contention of the union that the vehicles had to go up on an incline and there was a danger when the vehicles went over the ramp that the under carriage of the vehicle might be damaged if the vehicle was not properly directed and there was also the problem that the vehicles carrying a roof load might possibly strike the roof. Safety was crucial and that wasthe need for the spotters .
The company has a practice measuring every vehicle for height before it goes on and the evidence put before the Arbitrator of the number of accidents and the reasons for them from october 1979 to october 1980 indicates that there were 12 incidents and the natureof them was such that the driver of the vehicles in one instance stated that he scraped the roof of his van and another struck a ramp and another struck a cable . On examination of the various incidents and the explanations it would indicate that the concern of the union on this matter is exagerated and indeed the number of spotters recommended by the company as one views the operation are adequate to provide the necessary safety . The concern of union is well taken care of by the number of persons whichthe company sees as remaining on that particular type of work . It does not have to be said that every employee must be concerned about his own safety and the safety of others in the work place .
The union on the matter of blocking tok the view that 90% of the rolling stock required full lashings and that the implementation of ROLOC has not in fact reduced the number of lashings . The ROLOC button itself as it was seen in operation really locks the trailer to the deck and takes the place of two lashes .In discussions with Cyril Cross while viewing the operation on the evening of saterday , december 13th , Mr. Cross told the arbitrator that during the summer mounths the trailers were not lashed and indeed all that was necessary was to have them locked on the button . The company provided the arbitrator , as did the union , with a log showing the number of lashings covering certain period of time . The log provided by the company covered the period fromnovember 12th to december12 , the season when the seas are prone to be heavier than in the sumer mounths and examination show that in the majority of cases the number of lashings were four . Forty-six incidents where there were four lashings and 23 incidents of six lashings and 19 incidents of two lashings .
The union log covers the period 23rd to december 12th , 17 incidents of six lashings ,7 incidents of four lashings and 4 incidents of two lashings .
The loading operation observed by the arbitrator indicated that on that evening the trailers all had four lashings .
The company put forward evidence to indicate that the number of lashings depended on the discretion of the captain as he perceived the possibilities of the nature of the waters on that particular cruise . It is obvious that one of the captains might exercise his discretion in one way and in another , another and the general average would be four lashings on a vessel .
As the arbitrator observed the operation , there was certainly many periods in that time he was present when longshoremen were idle while awaiting the specific duties that they were there for and might well , if there was flexibility been able to do other things involved in the total operation of the loading of the vessel .
Evidence was given that the mirror operation at Port aux Basques which is the other port betwen which these vessels ply where the operation does not have gang sizes but has complete flexibility , that the operation is done with 20 men .
The unionís argument on that score was the manner in which the men were worked in that operation was a slave condition .
The basic underlying issue between the parties is the ever constant concern of the union to maintain as many positions as possible in order to provide job opportunity to as many of its members as it can . The other side of the coin ,of course , is the pressure and need of the company to operate as efficiently as it can with as few staff as are necessary to carry out the operation efficiently and safely .
Historically the port of North Sydney has operated on gang sizes and any change in this approach to the operation is met with complete opposition . The evidence of the previous positions taken in an attempt to resolve this situation between the parties which would flow from technological change has not in fact been recognized by the union . They must come to the realization that this will mean changes in work force .
Much evidence was put before the arbitrator as to the hardships which many of the union men suffered as a result of the lack of employment . Some are employed only three mounts in the year when the season is busy and the company , according to the union , expects these men to be able to live and manage somehow without employment for the other nine mounts of the year. It was suggested to the arbitrator that a number of men of the union had lost their homes as a result of unemployment . Some indeed had turned to drink and drugs and that the social raveges of the loss of work opportunity constituted a harrowing tale .
The arbitrator recognizes the prblems which can flow from the loss of work opportunity but the paramout role of the arbitrator , as determined by the parties , in the collective agreement which they have made and the parameters which theyhave determined . They had agreed in the collective agreement to a technological change .They knew full well that this must result in certain changes which would meanthe loss of job opportunity as a result of a reduction of work force which any technological change brings about . It is to be regretted that the parties were unable to meet attempt to find some relief in the totality of the operation for longshoremen who would be affected as a result of these changes .
The arbitrator would hope that this avenue might still be open to the parties regardless of the award in this situation.
Having examined the opperation and listened to the evidence and the arguments put forward by the parties I am satisfied that there is room for a reduction of gang sizes with the advent of the ROLOC , keeping in mind the fact that this is not an entirely ROLOC operation .
I have considered the evidence and conclude that the following numbers of longshoremen should adequately and safely carry out the duties required in the operation as it has been explained and demonstrated .
For the sake of brevity and clarity , I have set forth my finding in the third column of the following chart for the main deck and upper deck on the complete tie-down and limited tie-down operation .
Main Deck - Complete Tie-Down
Present complement Proposed complement Determined complement
1 checker 1 checker 1 checker
2 forklift operators 11 stevedores 1 doorman
17 stevedores 1 doorman 4 spotters
1 doorman 2 spotters 8 blockers
4 spotters 8 blockers
-- -- --
20 12 14
Opper Deck - Complete Tie-Down
1 checker 2 winchmen 2 winchmen
1 forklift operator 8 stevedores 10 stevedores
2 winchmen 2 spotters 2 spotters
13 stevedores 6 blockers 8 blockers
-- -- --
17 10 12
Main Deck - Limited Tie-Down
1 checker 1 checker 1 checker
2 forklift operators 5 stevedores 1 doorman
15 stevedores 1 doorman 4 spotters
1doorman 2 spotters 6 blocker
4 spotters 2 blockers
-- -- --
18 6 12
1 checker 2 winchmen 2 winchmen
2 winchmen 7stevedores 2 spotters
10 stevedores 2 spotters 6 safetymen
3 spotters 5 safetymen
-- -- --
13 9 10
The foregoing proposal as shown in the determined complement provides ample men to do the job in complete safety . One must recognize that with this proposal there will be periods of time in each shift where spotters and blockers will not be fully occupied . The principle of flexibility makes it possible for the various categories of spotters , blockers and safetymen to participate in the operation . There is no proprietory interest or isolationist approach provided for in the agreement . Each man knows his job as well as his associate and in the mutual interest in productivity that work should be done as efficiently as possible for both labour and management , anything short of that is irresponsible .
DATED at Halifax , Nova Scotia , this 14th day of January , A.D. 1981
Judge Nathan Greens