AH – 423




(the “Company”)



(the “Union”)




SOLE ARBITRATOR:                Michel G. Picher



There appeared on behalf of the Company:

Brian F. Weinert                         Director, Labour Relations

Jeff Barrett                               Linehaul Manager


And on behalf of the Union:

Jack Crabb                               Executive Vice-President

Michael Flynn                            Division Vice-President


A hearing in this matter was held in Toronto on November 22 & 23, 1992.



This grievance concerns the abolishment of a bulletin out of the Victoria terminal. The Dispute and Statement of Issue filed at the hearing is as follows:


The Company cancelling Bulletin 11-91, out of the Victoria terminal, without subsequently issuing an Article V Notice in line with the Job Security Agreement provisions.


On or about September 23rd, 1991, the Company cancelled this aforestated Bulletin outright, with no replacement position offered.

The Union asserts that this cancellation did not fall within the scope of the terms and provisions of the present Collective Agreement.

The Union contends that this Bulletin has been in effect for many years without alteration. The Company however, chose first, to change the Bulletin from a ten (10) hour shift to an eight (8) hour shift, at which time, the Union requested an Article V Notice in line with the provisions of the Job Security Agreement.

The Company declined the Union’s request for said.

Then, a few weeks later, the Company cancelled this Bulletin outright, turning the handling of traffic over to an unmanned ferry movement. Again, the Union asserts this outright cancellation required the issuance of an Article V Notice under the provisions of the Job Security Agreement by the Company.

To date, the Company remains firm in their declination of the Union’s request.

The facts are not in dispute. In September of 1991 the Company cancelled an assignment at the Victoria terminal. A 10-hour per day, 4-day week job, it consisted of shuttling trailers to and from the ferry dock at Victoria. Initially, the Company converted the 10-hour assignment to an 8-hour assignment and, finally, after a few weeks, the assignment was terminated entirely.

The unchallenged evidence reveals that; for a time, several drivers at Victoria were assigned to take trailers to and from the ferry dock. The Company submits that freight volumes in 1991 did not justify maintaining the complement of employees so assigned, and it therefore decided to eliminate one job. On that basis the Company submits that it was under no obligation to treat its decision as an operational or organizational change within the meaning of Article 5 of the Job Security Agreement.

The Job Security Agreement provides, in part, as follows:

5.1          The Company will not put into effect any technological, operational or organizational change of a permanent nature which will have adverse effects on employees without giving as much advance notice as possible to the General Chairman representing such employees or such other officer as may be named by the Union concerned to receive such notices. In any event, not less than three months’ notice shall be given, with a full description thereof and with appropriate details as to the consequent changes in working conditions and the expected number of employees who would be adversely affected.

5.7          The terms operational and organizational change shall not include normal reassignment of duties arising out of the nature of the work in which the employees are engaged nor to changes brought about by fluctuation of traffic or normal seasonal staff adjustments.

The principles which apply to the proviso in Article 5.7 were discussed at some length in the Port Coquitlam grievance award [AH-424], heard on the same dates as this case, and issued simultaneously. The Arbitrator will not, therefore, repeat the analysis contained therein.

The statistical evidence adduced by the Company discloses that in September of 1991 total shipments at the Victoria terminal had declined significantly as compared with the same month a year prior. In August of 1990, 4,663 shipments were handled, as compared with 4,289 in August of 1991. Similar differences were registered in all of the months of 1991, disclosing a substantial and sustained reduction in traffic. On balance, the Arbitrator is satisfied that it is that decline in the volume of freight which occasioned the decision of the Company to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the bulletined position at the Victoria terminal. There is nothing in the material before me to suggest that the traffic in question has in fact continued, or has been re-routed in some other manner. On the whole, therefore, I am satisfied that what has transpired is a reduction in complement as a result of fluctuation in traffic, and what may be characterized as a corresponding re-assignment of duties arising out of the nature of the work involved. The facts disclosed fall within the purview of Article 5.7 of the Job Security Agreement, and it cannot be said that the Corporation was in violation of the requirements of Article 5.1.

For the foregoing reasons the grievance must be dismissed.

DATED at Toronto this 27th day of November, 1992.