AH – 427
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CP EXPRESS & TRANSPORT
TRANSPORTATION COMMUNICATIONS UNION
GRIEVANCE RE MICHEL ROZON – DISCHARGE
SOLE ARBITRATOR: Michel G. Picher
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
R. M. Skelly – Counsel
L. Béchamp – Counsel
B. F. Weinert – Manager, Labour Relations
C. McSween – Regional Manager, Quebec and the Maritimes
And on behalf of the Union:
R. Mercier – Counsel
F. Poirier – Counsel
J. J. Boyce – General Chairman
M. Gauthier – Vice-General Chairman
G. Lemire – Local Chairman
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on March 27, 28, 29 and 30, and August 2, 1990.
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
Prior to the hearing the parties filed the following Dispute and Joint Statement of Issue:
After having been arrested on August 17, 1989 by CP Police Officers, Mr. Michel Rozon was suspended from his employment on August 18, 1989 and subsequently dismissed on August 28, 1989.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
Following an investigation held on August 25, 1989, the grievor was dismissed for using drugs while on Company premises on August 17, 1989.
The Union grieves the discharge for the following reasons:
a) The grievor was disciplined six (6) days before the investigation which lead to his dismissal;
b) The grievor did not commit the offences with which he is charged;
c) The Police Officers used undue pressure and illegal procedures to try to incriminate the grievor;
d) On August 17, 1989, the grievor was made the object of an illegal and abusive search on the part of the Canadian Pacific Police Officers;
e) The investigating officer did not act in good faith;
f) The discharge is illegal, unjust and too severe given all of the circumstances.
The Union requests the reinstatement of Mr. Rozon, without loss of seniority, wages or benefits.
The Company rejects the claims of the Union and rejected the grievance at all steps of the grievance procedure.
The Arbitrator accepts that the claim of the Company to the effect that the grievor used drugs on Company premises on the date in questions is well founded. Furthermore, I reject the claims of the Union contained in the Joint Statement of Issue.
The use of drugs at the workplace and to be at work under the influence of drugs deserves the severest of disciplinary penalties. That is particularly true in a factory or warehouse where one works in the presence of lift trucks, conveyor belts and other potential dangers.
However, in the Arbitrator’s view discharge is not justified for a first offence of this type, especially in light of good service and a relatively clear discipline record. For these reasons, I judge that this is a case for the exercise of my discretion to reduce the disciplinary sanction imposed by the Company. Mr. Rozon with therefore be reinstated into his employment, without compensation and without loss of seniority. However, it must be appreciated that similar conduct in the future will warrant most serious discipline.
The Arbitrator remains seized of this grievance in order to resolve any dispute concerning the interpretation or implementation of this award.
SIGNED at Toronto this 3rd day of August 1990.
(signed) MICHEL G. PICHER