IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
B E T W E E N :
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY
- a n d -
UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION
GRIEVANCE OF YARD FOREMAN R.J. LUDLOW OF CALGARY
RE ASSESSMENT OF THIRTY (30) DEMERITS
ARBITRATOR : Michel G. Picher
THE COMPANY : K. Hall - Labour Relations Officer, Edmonton
G.C. Blundell - Manager Labour Relations, Edmonton
B. Laidlaw - Labour Relations Officer, Edmonton
L. Umpherville - Manager, Train Service, Edmonton
THE UNION : D.W. Ellickson - Counsel, Toronto
J.W. Armstrong - General Chairperson, Edmonton
Mel G. Eldridge - Vice-General Chairperson
Bob Mater - Witness
Randy Ludlow - Grievor, Calgary
A hearing in this matter was held in Edmonton on October 1, 1994.
A W A R D
The facts giving rise to the dispute and the issues are summarized in a joint statement of issue filed at the hearing, which reads as follows :
Appeal of the thirty (30) demerits assessed Yard Foreman R.J. Ludlow of Calgary, Alberta for unsatisfactory work record June 21 - August 11, 1993 resulting in his discharge for accumulation of demerits on August 25, 1993.
Joint Statement of Issue
Mr. Ludlow was assigned to the 1400 Yard assignment working Monday to Friday with Saturday/Sunday rest days. He did not book on and missed his assignment for his shifts on June 28 and 29, 1993. On July 1, 1993 he booked off at 1800 hours while working his assignment. He also booked off sick and missed his assignments on July 22, 23, 26 and 27, 1993. On August 2, 1993 he booked unfit and did not book on until August 11, 1993 thereby missing his assignment on seven (7) days.
Following an investigation he was assessed thirty (30) demerits resulting in his discharge for accumulation of demerits.
The Union appealed the demerits and the resulting discharge on the grounds that the 30 demerits and dismissal were unwarranted and not justified. The Union contends that Yard Foreman Ludlow’s absences were all legitimate and he provided the Company with a note from his physician when requested. Furthermore, it is the Union’s contention that the Company’s actions were a result of a personality conflict between Yard Foreman Ludlow and his Yardmaster. The Union has requested that the 30 demerits be removed from Yard Foreman Ludlow’s record and that he be reinstated with full seniority and made whole in all respects.
The Company has denied the appeal.
The material before the arbitrator establishes that Mr. Ludlow was deficient in his timekeeping, as alleged in the Joint Statement of Issue. On the face of the record, he was deserving of some discipline having particular regard to his length of service and his prior record. He was first employed in October of 1990 and accumulated 50 demerits prior to July of 1993. The bulk of that record concerns an unsatisfactory work record in respect of absenteeism.
There are, however, mitigating factors in the case at hand. It appears that the grievor’s record was accumulated under service in Vancouver, prior to his transfer to Calgary. During the time of the incidents giving rise to his discipline he was subject to considerable stress in his personal life and, it seems, became involved in an antagonistic relationship with a yardmaster who is no longer employed. The case appears to the arbitrator to be one which would justify conditional reinstatement on terms which will protect the Company in the event the grievor should continue to have problems with timekeeping. The grievor shall therefore be reinstated into his employment, without compensation or benefits, and without loss of seniority. For the period of two years following his reinstatement, he shall maintain an average of missed calls or absences from duty no greater than the average of the employees in his classification at his terminal, calculated on any six-month period. Failure to observe that condition shall render him liable to immediate dismissal. The arbitrator retains jurisdiction.
DATED at Toronto this 6th day of October, 1994.
Michel G. Picher - Arbitrator