IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY
TEAMSTERS CANADA RAIL CONFERENCE
RE: GRIEVANCE OF GUY DESAUTELS – 15 DEMERITS
ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT STANDARDS
Sole Arbitrator: Michel G. Picher
Appearing For The Union:
J. Robbins – General Chairman, Sarnia
G. Desautels – Grievor
Appearing For The Company:
A. Daigle – Manager, Labour Relations, Eastern Canada
F. O’Neill – Manager, Labour Relations, Toronto
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on Monday, November 23, 2009.
This grievance concerns the assessment of fifteen demerits against Conductor Guy Desautels for his alleged failure to comply with attendance management standards. The dispute and joint statement of issue, filed at the hearing, read as follows:
The assessment of fifteen (15) demerit marks to Conductor Guy Desautels for failure to comply with Attendance Management Standards by missing calls on December 21 and December 29, 2008.
STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
The Union contends that the discipline is: Unjustified, unwarranted and excessive; Not in line with the Brown System of discipline; In violation of the workplace environment; In violation of articles 84 and 85 of the collective agreement; and in violation of CROA&DR 3644.
The Union requests that all discipline be removed. The Union contends that a remedy is applicable in this case.
The Company disagrees with all of the Union’s contentions and further submits that the employee’s prior discipline history warrants the assessment of discipline.
It is not disputed that the grievor did in fact fail to respond to two calls, on December 21 and December 29, 2008 respectively. It is those actions which resulted in the assessment of fifteen demerits against him.
In mitigation, the Union argues that the grievor was in fact about to go on vacation at the time of the first call, and that the second missed call came at the effective conclusion of his vacation period. It is not disputed that on the second occasion he was in fact called for an assignment as a locomotive engineer. The Union’s representative questions whether in fact there was not a more senior engine service employee who should first have been canvassed for the work in question on that occasion.
On a review of the material filed the Arbitrator has some difficulty with the position argued by the Union. As noted in the Company’s brief, it was entirely open to the grievor to protect the commencement of his vacation period by booking pre-vacation leave. Indeed, it does not appear disputed that he could have done that upon the receipt of the very call which he missed. Additionally, while the Union originally submitted that there were as many as twelve ESE employees senior to the grievor available for the assignment on December 29, it submits no good documentation to confirm that fact, and indeed the Company’s record with respect to the status of the other employees does not support the Union’s assertion.
For the foregoing reasons the Arbitrator is satisfied that this an appropriate case for the assessment of discipline, in particular having regard to the grievor’s relatively extensive record of missed calls and attendance problems in the past. The grievance must there be dismissed.
Dated at Ottawa this ____ day of November 2009.
MICHEL G. PICHER