CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
& DISPUTE RESOLUTION
CASE NO. 3969
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY
the assessment of a seven-day suspension on behalf of Conductor Ed Buchan of
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
working as Conductor on Train 314 on
He was required to provide an employee statement with respect to this, following which he was assessed discipline in the form of a seven-day suspension for his failure to comply with CROR Rule 112 (b).
It is the
disagrees with the
(SGD.) R. A. HACKL (SGD.) D. BRODIE
FOR: GENERAL CHAIRMAN MANAGER, LABOUR RELATIONS
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
Manager, Labour Relations,
Director, Labour Relations,
J. Orr Assistant Vice-President, BC South
Assistant Superintendent, Transportation,
There appeared on behalf of the
B. R. Boechler
R. A. Hackl
Sr. Vice-General Chairman,
E. Buchan Grievor
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
Upon a review
of the evidence the Arbitrator is satisfied that the grievor did, as alleged by
the Company, violate CROR rule 112(b) on
During the subsequent disciplinary investigation Mr. Buchan maintained that he had in fact performed a test consistent with the requirements of CROR 112, which reads, in part, as follows:
112. SECURING EQUIPMENT
(a) When equipment is left at any point a sufficient number of hand brakes must be applied to prevent it from moving. Special instructions will indicate the minimum hand brake requirements for all locations where equipment is left. If equipment is left on a siding, it must be coupled to other equipment if any on such track unless it is necessary to provide separation at a public crossing at grade or elsewhere.
(b) Before relying on the retarding force of the hand brake(s), whether leaving equipment or riding equipment to rest, the effectiveness of the hand brake(s) must be tested by fully applying the hand brake(s) and moving the cut of cars slightly to ensure sufficient retarding force is present to prevent the equipment from moving. When leaving a cut of cars secured, and after completion of this test, the cut should be observed while pulling away to ensure slack action has settled and that the cars remain in place.
Mr. Buchan maintains that he did in fact move the cut of cars slightly after he had set the hand brakes, when he was instructing his locomotive engineer to move the train so as to provide sufficient slack for him to uncouple the cars. He states that that movement did cause a slight movement of the cut of cars, as a result of which he was confirmed in the knowledge that they were secure.
The Arbitrator has some difficulty with the credibility of that account by Mr. Buchan. If, as he maintains, he had in effect done a movement test in compliance with CROR 112, it is difficult to understand why he did not immediately explain that to Mr. Rutherford when the latter effectively accused him of having failed to respect the rule. While it may be that the kind of manoeuvre described by Mr. Buchan might well comply with rule 112, a matter which in any event is not fully litigated in this case, I am not persuaded on the evidence that in fact such a test was performed by him at the time. It seems reasonable to conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that if he had performed that test he would have made that clear to Mr. Rutherford at the time. Rather, such comments as he did make seemed only addressed to the question of saving time.
The record confirms that the grievor stood at fifty demerits at the time of this incident. The assessment of any further demerits would have in all likelihood resulted in his dismissal. I am satisfied that in the circumstances a suspension was appropriate and that a seven day suspension was not outside the range of appropriate penalty given the state of the grievors disciplinary record.
For the foregoing reasons the grievance must be dismissed.