©b59r AD HOC 138
IN THE MATTER OF A GRIEVANCE INVESTIGATION
PURSUANT TO SECTION 112 OF THE B.C. LABOUR
CODE IN A DISPUTE
BETWEEN: THE BRITISH COLUMBIA RAILWAY COMPANY
(Hereinafter Referred To As "The Company")
AND: THE UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION,'LOCALS NO. 1178 AND 1923
(Hereinafter Referred To As "The Union")
Section 112 Investigator: Brian Foley
Appearing For The Company: D. Pysh, D. Sawchuk, R. Neilsen
Appearing For The Union: C. Mulhall, R. Riehl
Date And Place Of Meeting(s) With
The Parties: June 6, 1983, at Vancouver, B.C.
Date Of Written Report: June 13, 1983
ISSUE: Collective Agreement Interpretation - Article 201(9)
Automatic Terminal Release (Freight Service)
By agreement between the Company and the Union, the undersigned was
appointed under Section 112 of the B.C. Labour code to investigate
grievances and make written recommendations to the parties for their
resolution. In May 1983, the parties requested a recommendation with
respect to the interpretation of Article 201(9) of the collective
agreement, namely, "Automatic Terminal Release". A meeting with the
parties was held in Vancouver on June 6, 1983. At this meeting, the
parties agreed %hat the grievance investigator was properly
constituted and had the jurisdiction to deal with the matter in
dispute. In addition, the parties agreed that the investigator's
recommendations would be final and binding.
Article 201(9) of the collective agreement is entitled "Automatic
Terminal Release (Freight Service)" and it prescribes as follows:
"A trip will end automatically on arrival at a terminal
except as otherwise provided and ©u20rTrainmen will not be
©u58rrequired to do work other than storing their own train and
©u27rplacing locomotive to shops.
Crew may be required to spot stock from their own train on
arrival at terminal if no yard crew on duty.
With respect to mixed, wayfreight or switcher assignments in
turnaround service in cases where turnaround point is
terminal for unassigned crews, automatic terminal release
will not apply at turnaround point.
The meaning of terminal is understood to be the regular
points between which crews regularly run, i.e., assigned by
The parties are agreed that, in accordance with the above-noted
Article, incoming trainmen at a terminal may be required by the
Company to store their own train cars and place the train's
locomotive in the shop facility if it requires servicing and/or
repairs. The parties are also agreed that incoming trainmen may be
required to place in the shop any locomotive that can be considered
part of the Headend Engine Consist.
The present dispute arose over remote control locomotives and
incoming trainmen's responsibilities relating thereto pursuant to
Article 201(9). Remote control locomotives are placed in-train and
are operated by remote control from the leading locomotive of a train
by the engineer. Remote control locomotives have been in use by the
Company since early 1970 and they were introduced into the various
regions on different dates.
At two of the Company's principal terminals, namely North Vancouver
and Prince George, remote control locomotives are ©u8rnormally placed in
shop facilities either by yard crews or outgoing trainmen. on
occasion, however, incoming trainmen have performed the task without
In Chetwynd, yard crews are only on duty for certain hours and when
they are not on duty, incoming trainmen have been asked to place the
remote control locomotives in the shop facilities. Incoming trainmen
have complied with that type of request on at least seven specific
occasions since the remote control locomotives were introduced into
Chetwynd in late 1980 early 1981.
The present dispute arose in late 1982 when an incoming crew at
Chetwynd took objection to the Company's requirement that they place
the remote control locomotive in the shop facility. The trainmen
complied with the requirement but subsequently filed a grievance.
That grievance is the subject of the present investigation.
The Union takes the position that a remote control locomotive is not
part of the headend consist of locomotives and therefore cannot be
considered a "locomotive" for the purposes of Article 201(9). The
Union argues that the remote control locomotive is not part of the
headend consist since it is in fact cut into the train and is not
normally coupled to the headend units. It is the Union's view that
once in the rail yard, the remote control locomotive is no longer
under the control of the engineer and in fact is then no different
than a boxcar. That being the case, it is argued that Article 201(9)
only requires incoming trainmen to store the remote control
locomotive, not place it in the shop facility. The Union argues that
if there is a requirement that the remote control locomotive be
placed in the shop, that task should more properly be carried out
either by the yard crew (if they can be made available) or by the
It is the Company's position that since the inception of the remote
control locomotive, it has been considered part of the headend engine
consist and has been considered as a "locomotive" for the purposes of
Article 201(9). It is argued that since remote control locomotives
are operated from a single control by an engineer in the leading unit
of a train, they must properly be considered as an integral part of
the locomotive consist of a train; reference in this regard is made
to the definition of an engine as set out in the Uniform Code Of
Operating Rules: "A unit propelled by any form of energy or a
combination of such units operated from a single control used in
train or yard service".
The Company argues that, historically, incoming trainmen have
regularly, and without any reluctance, placed remote control
locomotives in shop facilities when they have been asked to do so by
the Company; to buttress these arguments, the Company has presented
evidence relating to this practice over recent years. It is argued
that the Union cannot therefore now take the position that performing
such a task is beyond the responsibilities of incoming trainmen let
alone take the position that remote control locomotives are not part
of the train's locomotive consist.
In support of its position, the Company has tendered as evidence a
number of arbitration decisions which purport .to support the
argument that a remote control locomotive is in fact a "locomotive"
for the purposes of Article 201(9) and therefore incoming trainmen
may be required to place it in shop facilities.
As an alternative argument, the Company argues that, even if a remote
control locomotive is not considered a locomotive for the purpose of
Article 201(9), nevertheless incoming trainmen can be required to
"store" it wherever the Company dictates (i.e., even in the shop).
In the Company's view, there is no wording in the collective
agreement to restrict management's right to require incoming trainmen
to place remote control locomotives in shop facilities.
In interpreting Article 201(9) of the collective agreement, I have
been asked to direct my attention to the question whether the Company
can require incoming trainmen to place remote control locomotives in
shop facilities for servicing/ repairs. In doing so, I must give
meaning to the following words,:
"...Trainmen will not be required to do work other than
storing their own train and placing locomotive to shop,"
I have considered the various arguments of the parties and the
evidence they presented against the above wording.
In my view, the words "...placing locomotive to shop" are exclusive
in nature. The requirement to "place to shop" is limited to
"locomotive" and unless a traincar can be properly categorized as a
"locomotive", the Company cannot require incoming trainmen to place
any such traincar to shop; that is to say, the Company can only
require that "locomotives" be placed to shop by incoming trainmen.
That conclusion having been reached, the key question to deter.-.One
is whether a remote control locomotive is a "locomotive" within the
meaning of Article 201(9).
In my effort to reach a conclusion in that regard, I have considered
the fact that the word "locomotive" appears in the title of "remote
control locomotive". I have also considered the fact that while
operational, a remote control locomotive is under the control of the
engineer and can be considered to fall under the definition of
engine; although the remote control locomotive is cut into the train,
it is under the engineers control and must therefore be considered
part of the headend consist. Finally, I have considered the fact
that, in the past, incoming trainmen have at least occasionally or
periodically treated the remote control locomotive as a "locomotive"
and have placed it in shop facilities.
None of these considerations alone is determinative of the issue.
Rather, the cumulative effect of all these considerations has led me
to the conclusion that a remote control locomotive is in fact a
locomotive within the meaning of Article 201(9). It is my view
therefore that the Company has the right pursuant to Article 201(9)
to require incoming trainmen to place remote control locomotive in
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Dated at Vancouver, British Columbia, this 13th day of June, 1983.