IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
B E T W E E N :
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY
- a n d -
UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION
GRIEVANCE RE L.J. CADRAIN OF NORTH BATTLEFORD, SASK.
ARBITRATOR : Michel G. Picher
THE COMPANY : G.C. Blundell - Manager Labour Relations,
K.J. Morris - Manager Train Service,
North Battleford, Saskatchewan
THE UNION : D.W. Ellickson - Counsel, Toronto
J.W. Armstrong - General Chairperson,
M.G. Eldridge - Vice General Chairperson,
L.C. Cadrain - North Battleford, Saskatchewan
D. Gagnon - Secretary
A hearing in this matter was held in Edmonton on October 2, 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 Conductor L.J. Cadrain of North Battleford, Saskatchewan on April 19, 1994 for unsatisfactory work record from January 2 to March 28, 1994 resulting in discharge for accumulation of demerits.
Joint Statement of Issue
A Company investigation was held with Conductor Cadrain in connection with his unsatisfactory work record from January 2 to March 28, 1994. Records show that he missed seven (7) calls ; booked off sick on five (5) occasions but received no medical attention ; was on authorized leave of absence on two (2) occasions ; and on personal leave of absence on one (1) occasion. The records also show that several of these occasions occurred during a weekend. On April 19, 1994 Conductor Cadrain was assessed thirty (30) demerits which brought his total discipline to sixty (60) demerits resulting in his discharge.
The Union contends that the thirty (30) demerits and resulting discharge was excessive in all the circumstances and requests that Conductor Cadrain be reinstated without loss of seniority and benefits and that he be made whole for lost time.
The Company has denied the Unionís request.
The arbitrator is satisfied, on the basis of the material filed, that the Company had a substantial basis for its concern in respect of the grievorís absenteeism from January 2 to March 28, 1994. During that time, Mr. Cadrainís absenteeism occurred consistently on weekends or Mondays and Fridays. Moreover, he had been disciplined seven times prior for poor timekeeping, and had been cautioned a further seven times.
In reviewing the case, however, there are certain mitigating factors which must be considered. The grievor is an employee of 13 yearsí service. Significantly, although he had problems in respect of work performance which contributed to the accumulation of 50 demerits on his record in June of 1988, he recorded a discipline-free period of service from that time until 1991. As the evidence indicates, he is capable of giving faithful service and, at least on one occasion, responded positively to the system of progressive discipline applied by the Company. In the case at hand, having particular regard to the length of Mr. Cadrainís service, it appears to the arbitrator that it is appropriate to substitute a lesser penalty, subject to conditions to protect the Companyís interests. The arbitrator therefore directs that the grievor be reinstated into his employment forthwith, without compensation and without loss of seniority. Mr. Cadrainís reinstatement is conditional upon his maintaining, for the period of two years following his reinstatement, a level of attendance and response to calls equal to the average of the employees in his classification and terminal, calculated on the basis of any six months. Failure to meet that standard shall render him liable to termination.
The arbitrator retains jurisdiction in respect of the interpretation and implementation of this award.
DATED at Toronto this 6th day of October 1994.
Michel G. Picher - Arbitrator