CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
CASE NO. 2342
Heard at Montreal, Thursday, 11 March 1993
CANADIAN PACIFIC EXPRESS & TRANSPORT
TRANSPORTATION COMMUNICATIONS UNION
Discharge of Eric Robidoux, Lachine Terminal, on July 4, 1991, for allegation of stealing a sandwich.
UNION'S STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
On June 28, 1991, Mr. Robidoux, while performing his duties at Lachine Terminal, was asked by Supervisor G. Cormier to work overtime and he accepted. Mr. Robidoux went downstairs in the cafeteria for his coffee break. At this time he met the janitor and as he had nothing to eat, he asked the janitor if it was possible for him to take a sandwich and he would tell the Supervisor in charge to put the cost on his bill. Then, the janitor helped him out by pulling the board in order for Mr. Robidoux to get the sandwich out of the storage. Mr. Robidoux went upstairs to tell Supervisor Cormier but when he arrived in the Supervisor's room, Supervisor Cormier told him that he had seen him through the window taking the sandwich and that it was theft. Mr. Robidoux tried to explain what happened but Supervisor Cormier didn't give him a chance to tell about it. Mr. Robidoux never had any intention of stealing the sandwich but just wanted the cost of the sandwich to be put on his bill.
The Union contends that Mr. Robidoux has been illegally and unjustly discharged from his job. The Union also contends that no interview has been held in accordance with article 8 of the collective agreement. For the above-mentioned reasons, the Union requests that Mr. Robidoux be reinstated in his employment and be compensated for all loss of salary and benefits and without loss of seniority.
The Company has denied the Union's contention and declined the request to reinstate Mr. Robidoux. The Company maintains that the dismissal of this probationary employee was made for just cause.
FOR THE UNION:
(SGD.) J. CRABB
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
R. N. Skelly – Counsel, Montreal
B. F. Weinert – Director, Labour Relations, Toronto
M. Mousseau – Terminal Manager, Lachine
G. Cormier – Dock Supervisor, Lachine
R. Grant – Driver, Quebec
And on behalf of the Union:
K. Cahill – Counsel, Montreal
J. Crabb – Executive Vice-President, Toronto
J. Marr – Vice-President, Saint John
S. Fiset – Witness
E. Robidoux – Grievor
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
The Arbitrator finds that the testimony of Supervisor Gilles Cormier, as well as that of Driver Raymond Grant, was given in an honest and precise way. By contrast, the explanation of Mr. Robidoux who claims, among other things, to have hidden the sandwich which he took from the counter under his sweater as a sign to the cashier that he did not wish to steal it, to be very unbelievable. On the whole, I cannot conclude that the evidence given by Mr. Robidoux is honest, and I must concur with the Company's conclusion to the effect that this probationary employee stole the sandwich in the cafeteria as described in the testimony of Mr. Cormier.
As a probationary employee, the grievor is subject to a less onerous standard concerning the elements of just cause which would justify his dismissal. (CROA 1491, 1931, 2004) In the instant case, I judge that the Company did not act in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner or in bad faith in making its decision, given the conduct of Mr. Robidoux.
For the foregoing reasons the grievance must be dismissed.
March 12, 1993 (Sgd.) MICHEL G. PICHER