CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
& DISPUTE RESOLUTION
CASE NO. 3884
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY
Appeal of 30 demerits and subsequent discharge of Yard Service Helper Chris Hetherington.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
disagrees and denies the
(SGD.) D. OLSON (SGD.) A. A. GARCIA
GENERAL CHAIRMAN FOR: ASSISTANT VICE-PRESIDENT – OPERATIONS
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
M. Moran – Labour Relations Officer,
J. Bairaktaris – Director, Labour Relations,
A. A. Garcia – Manager, Labour Relations,
D. Corrigan – Labour Relations Officer,
D. Purdon – Manager, Operations,
K. Wachs – Manager, Operations
And on behalf of the
M. A. Church – Counsel,
D. Olson –
G. Hiscock – Local Chairman,
B. Wiszniak – Local Chairman,
C. Hetherington – Grievor
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
before the Arbitrator confirms, without controversy, that the grievor violated
fundamental operating rules during the process of switching in the
During the course of their tour of duty Mr. Anderson and Mr. Hetherington shoved two cars into track MF-10 to form a joint with other standing equipment. However they failed to stretch the joint to ensure that it was securely made and that the cars, being on sloping track, would have the benefit of handbrake security. When they pulled their power out of track MF-10 the two cars rolled back out of that track, causing a collision with the side of their yard locomotive.
The ensuing disciplinary investigation reveals not only that the grievor was not in control of the RCLS equipment, as required by the rules, but that he made no effort to verify that Yard Service Employee Anderson had in fact ensured that the cars which they moved into track MF-10 did in fact make a secure joint. In the result, the conclusion is inescapable that due, in part, to the grievor’s involvement in the violation of the rules cited in the statement of issue, an avoidable collision occurred. In light of that fact, the grievor was assessed thirty demerits while Yard Service Employee Anderson was assessed forty demerits.
has difficulty seeing on what basis the discipline against the grievor can be
removed or reduced. It is clear that as a yard service helper Mr. Hetherington
was under an independent obligation to respect all operating rules. Contrary
instructions from his workmate do not excuse his failure in that regard. Nor is
the Arbitrator persuaded that other cases of yard incidents, raised by the
It goes without saying that an employee of extremely limited service with an obviously negative disciplinary record cannot advance his or her working history as a mitigating factor in a case such as this. On the contrary, when the record itself is such an aggravating factor, the Arbitrator has little alternative but to agree with the Company’s assessment that the grievor’s cardinal rule infraction involving a collision is deserving of serious discipline, in the range of thirty to forty demerits. It is therefore not appropriative to interfere with the Company’s judgement, which is that the grievor has not demonstrated the capacity to be a safe and productive employee.
For the foregoing reasons the grievance must be dismissed.