CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
CASE NO. 509
Heard at Montreal, Tuesday, June l0th, 1975
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAlLWAY COMPANY
BROTHERHOOD OF MAINTENANCE OF WAY EMPLOYEES
The Union claims the Company violated Rules 7.1 and 32.3 of Wage
Agreement No. 17 when Crossing Watchman I. Challice was not called
to work on an overtime basis on four rest days. August 17th, 18th,
24th and 25th, 1974. The claim is for 32 hours at the rate of time
JOlNT STATEMENT OF lSSUE..
The grievor's regular assigned position is Crossing Watchman, King
St., Peterborough, Ontario. His hours of work are 1030 hours to 1830
hours with Saturday and Sunday rest days. His duties consist of
manually operating the crossing protection to prevent excessive and
needless operation thereof when switching movements are being made or
when cars are standing with the track circuit, otherwise the
protection is operated automatically.
On August l7th, 18th, 24th and 25th, the girevor's rest days, certain
rails were removed from the tracks in connection with open-cut sewer
construction. Prior to and after completion of the construction work
the signals were de-activated and activated by a Signal Maintainer.
The Union alleges such work should have been performed by the
Crossing Watchman and claims 8 hours' pay at time and one-half for
each of the four days involved.
FOR THE EMPLOYEE: FOR THE COMPANY
(SGD.) P. A. LEGROS (SGD.) S. T. COOKE
GENERAL CHAIRMAN ASSlSTANT
There appeared on behalf of the Company..
W. H. Barton System Labour Relations Officer, C.N.R.,
A. D. Andrew System Labour Relations Officer, C.N.R.,
W. W. Wilson Labour Relations Assistant, C.N.R., Toronto
And on behalf of the Brotherhood..
P. A. Legros System Federation General Chairman, B.M.W.E.,
G. D. Robertson Vice President, B.M.W.E., Ottawa
W. Montgomery General Chairman, B.M.W.E., Belleville
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
Rule 7.1 of the collective agreement is as follows..
"7.1 Where work is required by the railways to be performed on a
day which is not part of any assignment, it may be performed
by an available laid-off or unassigned employee who will
otherwise not have forty hours of work that week. ln all
other cases by the regular employee."
The only question which arises under this section, requiring
resolution in the instant case, is whether the grievor was "the
regular employee and thus entitled to be called for the work in
question. Article 32.3, also relied on by the Union, is as follows..
"32.3 Except in cases of emergency or temporary urgency, employees
outside of the maintenance of way service shall not be
assigned to do work which properly belongs to the
maintenance of way department, nor will maintenance of way
employees be required to do any Work except such as pertains
to his division or department of maintenance of way
Under this article, the question which arises with relation to this
case is whether the work in question properly belongs to the
maintenance of way department.
Now I have no doubt that the work of the Crossing Watchman, at the
location in question, is work properly belonging to the maintenance
oi way department, and that the grievor is "the regular employee" on
that Job. With respect to both the above articles, then, the
question to be determined in this case comes to this: did the
activation and de-activation of the signals on the days referred to
by a Signal Maintainer amount to the performance of the work of the
Crossing Watchman? If it did, then the grievance must succeed, if it
did not, then it must fail.
ln Cases Nos. 453 and 471 it appeared that the grievor was "the
regular employee", or one of the regular employees, assigned to
certain Work. Each case turns on its own facts, however, and there
is no analogy from the circumstances of those cases to the situation
here. In the instant case, the work of the Crossing Watchman at the
location in question involved the control of the signals to provide
proper protection for movements on sidings and on the main track.
The actual physical motion involved may have been merely that of
pushing a switch, but the essence of the Job is that the switch be
pushed at such times, and having regard to such train movements, as
will provide the proper crossing protection, and avoid excessive
operation of the signal on switching movements.
On the occasion in question the Signal Maintainer activated and
deactivated the signals, not on account of train movements (for there
were none), but in order to cut out the automatic operation of the
signal which would ensue when rails within the crossing circuit were
removed. Operation of the signal switch for this purpose did not
form part of the Crossing Watchman's duties, but was simply for the
purpose of assisting the sewer construction. The Signal Maintainer
was not, in this case, concerned with train movements or the
protection of the crossing, as the Crossing Watchman would be. He
did not perform the work of a Crossing Watchman on the occasion in
question. The reply to the question posed in this case, then, must
For the foregoing reasons, the grievance is dismissed.
J. F. W. WEATHERHILL