AH – 472
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY
CANADIAN COUNCIL OF RAILWAY OPERATING UNIONS
UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION
RE: CLAIMS FOR RELOCATION BENEFITS – ATLANTIC CANADA UNDER MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT OF AUGUST 2, 1995
Sole Arbitrator: Michel G. Picher
Appearing For The Union:
Michael Church – Counsel
Rex Beatty – General Chairperson – Sault Ste. Marie
Raymond LeBel – General Chairperson – Quebec City
F. Price – Vice General – UTU East
Carl Fowler – Local Chairperson – Local 304 Moncton North
Carl Wallace – Local Chairperson – Local 1547 – Moncton East and West
Appearing For The Company:
Patti Marquis – Labour Relations Associate
Roger MacDougall – Counsel
Al Heft – Labour Relations Manager (Retired)
W. D. Agnew – Labour Relations Manager (Retired)
A hearing in this matter was held in Toronto on December 6th, 1999.
This Arbitration concerns a claim by some 20 employees who were home terminalled at Moncton prior to the implementation of a material change which resulted in a Memorandum of Agreement dated August 2, 1995. The nature of the claims is reflected in the Dispute and Joint Statement of Issue filed at the hearing, which read as follows:
Relocation benefits for various Atlantic Canada Employees (as attached)
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
On August 2, 1995, the Company and Union signed an agreement to implement measures to mitigate adverse effects for employees in Atlantic Canada (east of Joffre). The agreement was required by the provisions of Appendix 14 of the Memorandum of Agreement dated May 5, 1995, and signed in Toronto, Ontario pursuant to the negotiations under the auspices of Bill C-77.
The August 2, 1995 Agreement provided for specific benefits for employees affected by the implementation of the conditions of the May 5, 1995 Memorandum of Agreement.
The Union contends that the Grievors in question did not have sufficient seniority to work in their respective terminals due to the implementation of the May 5, 1995 Memorandum of Agreement and therefore qualify for the benefits as contained in the August 2, 1995 Agreement.
The Company disagrees with the Union’s contention and has declined to provide relocation benefits to the grievors.
The August 2, 1995 Memorandum of Agreement provides for certain options available to employees adversely impacted by the elimination of furlough boards, the introduction of two person crews east of Joffre, the elimination of yard/road distinctions, and the implementation of possible terminal closures at Truro, Edmundston and Rivière du Loup. The options include early retirement, deferred separation, lay-off benefits, severance payment, educational leave of absence, relocation expenses and maintenance of earnings. As noted above, the instant dispute arises in relation to the claim of some 20 Moncton based employees who maintain that they were adversely impacted with respect to exercise their seniority to work at locations other than Moncton. The dispute arises primarily by reason of the Company’s position that the relocation expenses, assessed at $18,000.00 per homeowner and $7,500.00 for renters, are to be payable only to employees who were adversely impacted upon the immediate implementation of the material changes listed above, which occurred on or about September 1, 1995. On behalf of the employees concerned the Union submits that the impact of the changes was more far ranging, and that a number of the employees covered by the Memorandum were not truly impacted until considerably later, many as late as January of 1996.
Having regard for the totality of the evidence adduced and the submissions of the parties, the Arbitrator is satisfied that this is a grievance that should be allowed, in part. On that basis the Arbitrator directs that the grievors who were, at the material time, homeowners be paid, forthwith, a sum in the amount of 50% of the $18,000.00 expense payment for homeowners and, for renters, 50% of the amount of $7,500.00. The amounts shall be paid subject to verification, at the discretion of the Company, as to their status as a homeowner or renter at the material time.
The Arbitrator retains jurisdiction in the event of any dispute between the parties concerning the interpretation or implementation of this Award.
Dated at Toronto this 10th day of December 1999.
(signed) Michel G. Picher