AH - 188
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN PACIFIC LIMITED
CANADIAN SIGNAL AND COMMUNICATIONS UNION
IN THE MATTER OF THE GRIEVANCE OF B. THOMPSON
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J.F.W. Weatherill
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
And on behalf of the Union:
A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal, Quebec, on April 14, 1983.
The Joint Statement of Fact and Issue in this matter is as follows:
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT
Signal Maintainer, Brad Thompson was dismissed for the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages while on duty at Chase, B.C., on June 4, 1982.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE
The Union contends that Mr. Thompson’s dismissal was too severe considering his age, medical problems and his years of good service with the Company.
The Company submits that Mr. Thompson’s dismissal was justified based on his possession of and consumption of alcoholic beverages while on duty, in violation of U.C.O.R. Rule “G”.
There is no dispute as to the facts. The grievor was a Signal Maintainer, working on the Shuswap Subdivision. His assigned hours were 0630 to 1530, Monday to Friday. On the day in question the grievor was subject to call commencing at 1530.
At about 1210, on his return from his lunch hour, the grievor was perceived by the Signal Supervisor to be under the influence of alcohol. The grievor admitted that he had been drinking, and in his car were found two bottles of wine, one nearly empty and the other nearly full.
There is no doubt that there was a violation of Rule “G”, and for a violation of this sort - being under the influence of alcohol in the midst of a tour of duty - discharge would, in general, be an appropriate penalty in the case of a Signal Maintainer.
The grievor had, on two occasions, been accepted into the company’s alcoholism program. He has, unfortunately, lapsed from his undertakings in that regard. Participation in such a program does not relieve an employee of his normal obligations while at work.
In considering the penalty imposed, however, regard may properly be had to an employee’s record and seniority. At the time in question, the grievor had a clear record. He had over 33 years’ service with the company. In these circumstances, I do not consider that the grievor should be prejudiced in his right to apply to be considered for a disability pension. To the extent that his discharge may have made it impossible for the grievor to make such application it is my view that the penalty - in the grievor’s particular case - was too severe. Accordingly, it is my view that that penalty should be modified only to the extent necessary to permit such application. It is not for me to comment as to the manner in which any such application should be dealt with.
For the foregoing reasons, I make the following award: while there was in general, just cause for discharge, that penalty in the grievor’s case shall be temporarily set aside as follows: 1. The grievor shall be reinstated in his status as an employee forthwith, but without any compensation for loss of earnings. 2. The grievor may, within thirty days (subject to any necessary extension to meet the first available filing requirements), make application for a disability pension. 3. If, after the expiry of the period above mentioned, no such application has been made, the grievor’s status as an employee shall cease, and the grievance may be considered dismissed.
4. If such application is made, the grievor’s status as an employee shall continue, for the purposes only of such application, until such time as the application is finally disposed of. At that time the grievor’s employee status shall cease, and the grievance may again be considered to have been dismissed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 25th day of April, 1983.