(The “Company”)





(The “Union”)




RE:  Discharge of Mitchell Schindel for Violation of CN’s Drug and Alcohol Policy

while subject to duty at CN’s Training Centre on June 3, 2014

after reporting late for ATP3 training.


ARBITRATOR:                                CHRISTINE SCHMIDT



B. Laidlaw                                        – Manager Labour Relations, Winnipeg

S. Grou                                              – Senior Manager Labour Relations, Montreal

K. Smdynec                                     – Senior Manager OHS, Montreal          

J. Woods                                          – Manager S&C Safety Assurance, Winnipeg

T. Orr                                                 – Senior Manager S&C, Edmonton



K. Stuebing                                      – Counsel, Caley Wray, Toronto

B. Strong                                          – System General Chairman, Fort Qu’Appelle

S. Martin                                            – Senior System General Chairman, Cambridge

B. Betker                                           – Local Representative, Winnipeg

M. Schindel                                      – Grievor, Saskatoon



A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on April 8, 2015.

Ad-hoc matter 2015-037.









            The Union grieves the termination of the apprenticeship of Mr. Schindel. Mr. Schindel was released from his employment on June 13, 2014. The nature of the dispute before the Arbitrator is reflected in the statement of dispute and joint statement of issue filed with the Arbitrator which reads as follows:

Discharge of Mitchell Schindel for Violation of CN’s Drug and Alcohol Policy while subject to duty at CN’s Training Centre on June 3, 2014 after reporting late for ATP3 Training.

Joint Statement of Issue:

On June 3, 2014 Mr. Schindel was assigned in Winnipeg, MB for training as an S&C Apprentice, and he was required to attend training class at 0800 at the CN Winnipeg Training Centre.

Mr. Schindel did not arrive at the Training Centre until approximately 0930 and two Supervisors, Instructor Keith Lorenz and Supervisor Jason Woods, noticed symptoms of alcohol consumption from MR. Schindel.

The CN Police were summoned to conduct a breathalyzer test on Mr. Schindel, and the test was conducted at 10:006. The test result registered a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.031.

A formal investigation was held on June 11, 2014 and Mr. Schindel was dismissed from service on June 13, 2014 for Violation of CN’s Drug and Alcohol Policy while subject to duty at CN’s training Centre on June 3, 2014 after reporting late for atP3 training.

The Union contends that CN’s assessment of discipline and discharge in response to the facts of this case was unjustified, unwarranted and excessive in all circumstances.

The Union also contends that the Company has breached the terms of its Drug and Alcohol Policy.

The Union requests that the discipline be removed in its entirety, that Mr. Schindel be ordered reinstated forthwith without loss of seniority and benefits, and that he be made whole with interest. The Union seeks the removal of any reference to the June 2014 drug and alcohol screening from his permanent record and seeks damages for the harm to Mr. Schindel on account of the Company’s gross violation of the Policy. In addition, the Union seeks such further relief as the Union may request and the Arbitrator may grant in connection with this grievance.

The Company disagrees and has declined the grievance.

FOR THE COMPANY:                                     FOR THE UNION:

B. Laidlaw                                                          B. Strong

Manager Labour Relations                                Senior General Chairman

On review of the material and submissions made by the parties at the hearing before me on April 8, 2015, I make the following findings and declarations.


Mr. Schindel (the “grievor”) shall be reinstated and subject to the paragraph below, the grievor will be returned to service without compensation or benefits for time lost but with full seniority. The Grievor’s time out of service shall be registered on his record as a suspension without pay.


Before recommencing active duty in a safety sensitive position, the grievor must submit to an OHS directed safety sensitive fitness to work medical assessment and must first be determined to be medically fit to return to safety sensitive service.


The Grievor acknowledges that as an employee who holds a safety sensitive position, he is required to report and remain fit for duty, free from the negative effects of alcohol (or other drugs), including the after-effects. Further, the Grievor acknowledges that he exercised extremely poor judgment in attending late for work under the influence of the after-effects of alcohol on June 3, 2014.


In issuing this Award, I hereby caution the grievor that this represents a final opportunity to demonstrate his appreciation of the seriousness of his misconduct and correct his conduct going forward. 




            I shall remain seized in the event that there is any difference as to the interpretation or implementation of this Award.



April 8, 2015                                                                         

                                                                                                CHRISTINE SCHMIDT