CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
& DISPUTE RESOLUTION
CASE NO. 4025
CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY
Engineers in through freight Conductor-Only service are being requested to
perform switching at the final terminal at
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
in 2005 the Company began compelling crews arriving at the final terminals of
disagrees with the
(SGD.) R. LECLERC (SGD.) D. GAGNÉ
GENERAL CHAIRMAN FOR: SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT, EASTERN REGION
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
D. Gagné –
Sr. Manager, Labour Relations,
D. VanCauwenbergh –
Director, Labour Relations,
A. Daigle –
Manager, Labour Relations,
D. Laroche –
Manager, Labour Relations,
J. Parsons – Trainmaster, Halifax
G. Dunberry –
There appeared on behalf of the
C. Smith – Vice-General Chairman (ret’d)
R. Leclerc –
J-M Hallé –
T. Markewich –
Vice-General Chairman, CN Lines West,
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
challenges the Company’s practice whereby locomotive engineers working in
conductor-only service have been required to perform switching in relation to
their own train upon arrival at their final terminals of
Haul into RH 11 and cut off 78 cars
Set over 9 cars to RH ladder track
Set over 34 cars to RH 10
Set over 18 cars to RH ladder track
Set over 13 cars to RH 07
Pick up RH ladder track and set into RG 12
Run around RG 12
Set 27 cars to RY 01
Locomotive Engineer Toole was paid 12-1/2 miles over and above all other earnings for the switching which he was required to perform in the yarding of his train. The Union maintains that the work in question is beyond what is contemplated in conductor-only service and that what Mr. Toole was required to do was effectively marshalling, which would qualify as “other work” within the meaning of article 13.1 of the collective agreement, so that a minimum 100 miles should be paid for that service.
The following articles are pertinent to the resolution of this grievance:
Switching at Initial or final
in a Conductor Only Operation
12A.1 When locomotive engineers on trains operating in through freight service with a train crew consist of a conductor only are required to perform switching in connection with their own train at the initial or final terminal (except to set off a bad order car or cars or to lift a bad order car or cars after being repaired), they will be entitled to a payment of 12-1/2 miles over and above all other earnings for the tour of duty.
12A.2 This article does not apply to locomotive engineers deadheading.
Release at Final Terminal – Freight Service
13.1 Where yard engines are on duty locomotive engineers will be considered released from duty on arrival at objective terminals after yarding their train in a minimum number of tracks, including putting their caboose away if necessary, except that they may be required to perform switching in connection with their own train to set off and if necessary spot important or bad order cars. To accomplish this work they may be required to re-spot other equipment involved in performing this service. Should they be required to perform other work when yard engines are on duty or to make short runs out of the terminal they will be paid a minimum of 100 miles for such service.
13.2 In the application of paragraph 13.1, when locomotive engineers are instructed to yard their train in a particular track at a terminal and such track will not hold the entire train, they will double over surplus cars or a designated cut of cars to another yard track. In cases of yard congestion where there is insufficient room to double over all the cars to one track, it will be necessary to double over to more than one track, in the manner described above, to effectively yard the train. Locomotive engineers (including those working in a conductor-only operation) required to double over designated cuts of cars will be paid 12-1/2 miles in addition to all other earnings for the tour of duty, such mileage to be included in computing a locomotive engineer’s total mileage in the working month.
NOTE: In making the double-over, locomotive engineers will not be required to marshal the double-over (e.g. setting over 10 cars for one destination to one track and 10 cars for another destination to another track). It is the intent of paragraph 13.2 that surplus cars be doubled over, if possible, to one other track.
Arbitrator’s view the
For the reasons related above, I am satisfied that the
parties have preserved within their Collective Agreement a degree of
distinction between the concept of switching required to be performed by a road
crew at a destination yard in connection with their own train and the concept
of putting their own train away on a minimum number of tracks. Article 7.9(d)
was intended to clarify the rights of road crews in respect of putting away
their train, but it did not have the purpose or effect of abrogating the rights
of the Company or the obligations of the employees in respect of their long
established duty to perform switching in connection with their own train as
they had previously been required to do. I can find nothing in the history or
language of Article 7.9(d) to overrule the prior awards of this Office which
has held that the setting off and spotting of cars at a destination yard as
part of the delivery process falls within the meaning of the phrase “switching
required in connection with their own train” contained in Article 41.1 of the
Collective Agreement. That is what the crew were required to do upon arrival at
The issue in the instant case is whether the work which was assigned to Locomotive Engineer Toole, and the similarly situated locomotive engineers whose other grievances are similar, was in fact required to do something more than switching in relation to his own train. In considering that question I find it instructive to read carefully the provisions of article 13 which generally govern the duties to be performed by crews at final terminals in freight service. In particular, attention must be paid to article 13.2 of the collective agreement which specifically deals with the doubling over of a train, including a train in conductor-only operations. Significantly, the Note to article 13.2 expressly states that marshalling is not to be part of the crew’s assignment when doubling over is necessary. It is clear from the note that marshalling is conceived as being instructed to set off a certain cut of cars for a given destination in one track and another set of cars for another destination in a different track.
Can it be said
How, then, can these principles be reconciled with the provisions of article 12A.1 which govern conductor-only operations and expressly provide that locomotive engineers can be required to perform switching “in connection with their own train” at the initial or final terminal for which the payment of 12-1/2 miles is contemplated?
In the Arbitrator’s view it is important to read the provisions of article 12A.1 and article 13 in a rational and complementary manner. In doing so I consider it significant that article 13.2 expressly states that it applies to conductor-only operations. It would appear to be to be clear from the language of the appended Note to article 13.2 that marshalling is not work to be performed in the normal yarding a conductor-only train. I am satisfied that what the collective agreement contemplates is that an incoming train crew in conductor-only service can be directed to deposit segments of their train at various locations in the destination yard, and that such work is to be considered switching in relation to their own train. Where, however, they are compelled to disassemble and reassemble sets of cars, moving them from one track to another to create differently constituted cuts of cars in the manner required of Locomotive Engineer Toole, they are indeed performing marshalling in the sense prohibited by the Note to article 13.2 of the collective agreement. That interpretation is, moreover, most consistent with the overall concept of conductor-only operation as being essentially a “hook and haul” concept.
On the whole,
therefore, I am compelled to conclude that the
conclusions I do not consider it necessary to address the alternative basis of
the grievance, which the