AH – 492
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
VIA RAIL CANADA INC.
BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS
RE: LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER TRAINING SELECTION PROCESS
Sole Arbitrator: Michel G. Picher
Appearing For The Brotherhood:
E. J. Houlihan – Senior Manager, Labour Relations, Montreal
M. Bastien – Labour Relations Officer, Montreal
J. Lafleur – Counsel, Montreal
Appearing For The Corporation:
J. L. Shields – Counsel, Ottawa
J. Tofflemire – General Chairman, Oakville
G. Hallé – Canadian Director, Ottawa
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on Friday, June 16, 2000.
The record before the Arbitrator confirms that over a long career in the railway industry, which commenced in 1979, Mr. Ethier has been a good and conscientious conductor. Described by the Corporation as “very dedicated” he has apparently never been disciplined for any serious rules violations over that lengthy period.
The record discloses the Mr. Ethier did receive minor discipline on several occasions between 1990 and 1995. The record discloses that Mr. Ethier became involved in an unfortunate series of behavioural problems, resulting in his demotion to yard service. A ninety day suspension which was also assessed against him was removed at arbitration where, in CROA 2885 this Office noted that the aberrant behaviour that led to his demotion was related to a degree of personal stress for which he sought and obtained counselling through the EAP. The award also notes that the grievor’s exemplary work in yard service resulted in his early return to road service.
In the Arbitrator’s view there are countervailing positive elements in the file of Mr. Ethier which, in my view, were arbitrarily disregarded by the Corporation in weighing his entitlement to proceed in the locomotive engineer training program. It is not disputed that on a number of occasions Mr. Ethier was promoted into management, in the period 1993 and 1994, and that his service to the Corporation has resulted in a number of recorded letters of compliment and commendation, including one from the Corporation’s President. When the full record is fairly examined, the Arbitrator is satisfied that the grievor was improperly denied access into the next phase of assessment for locomotive engineer training.
Mr. Ethier’s grievance is therefore allowed, the Arbitrator directs that he proceed to the next step in the assessment process.
Dated at Toronto, June 20, 2000
(signed) MICHEL G. PICHER