CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
& DISPUTE RESOLUTION
CASE NO. 4023
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY
The discharge of John Welch.
UNION’S STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
was assessed 35 demerits on
There is no
dispute that the grievor was operating as a separated track unit. The
The Company contends that the discipline and discharge is warranted.
(SGD.) R. TOMPKINS
CHIEF STEWARD GLD
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
S. M. Blackmore –
Manager, Labour Relations,
R. Bateman – Director, Labour Relations
S. Grou –
Sr. Manager, Labour Relations,
D. James – Sr. Manager Engineering
D. Morin – Regional Chief Engineer,
There appeared on behalf of the
M. Piché –
P. D. Wright –
P. Wills –
Unit 33 Chair,
R. Tompkins – Chief Steward, GLD,
J. J. Welch – Grievor
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
Upon a review of the materials the Arbitrator is satisfied that the Company did have reason to impose some discipline upon the grievor. It seems that when he was approached by Senior Manager Engineering Dave James while he was operating a Brandt truck at Key Junction on the Bala Subdivision he was not then in possession of TOP 5397, a TOP had admittedly expired but had been in effect shortly prior. When Mr. James indicated to him the importance of having a copy of the TOP in his possession, as his truck was operating in a separated location from the remainder of his crew, he responded that if that is what the Company wanted he would then do it that way. However, at the subsequent disciplinary investigation he gave an entirely different response, stating that he had been in possession of the TOP and had burned it after its expiry.
I am compelled to agree with the Company’s suggestion that the grievor was less than candid and forthcoming with respect to the facts. However, from a technical standpoint, he was not in fact found to be without a TOP in his possession at a time when he was under an obligation to have it. There is no dispute that the TOP about which he was being question had previously expired. The fact remains, however, that his failure of candour did cause some difficulty to the Company and, standing alone, was deserving of some discipline.
mitigating factors to consider, however. The grievor is three years from his
pension eligibility and has some thirty-four years of service. While his prior
disciplinary record is not exemplary, I am satisfied on the whole that the
substitution of a suspension for the assessment of thirty-five demerits for the
The grievance is therefore allowed, in part. The Arbitrator directs that the grievor be reinstated into his employment forthwith, without compensation for his wages and benefits lost. The thirty-five demerits assessed against his record shall be removed, and the period between his termination and reinstatement shall be recorded as a suspension.