CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
& DISPUTE RESOLUTION
CASE NO. 4071
BOMBARDIER TRANSPORTATION CANADA INC.
assessed Locomotive Engineer A. Trela for alleged violation of various CROR
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
an investigation held on
It is the
position of the
(SGD.) G. MACPHERSON (SGD.) D. MACHELL
GENERAL CHAIRMAN GENERAL MANAGER
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
M. Horvat –
A. Brown –
Manager, Human Resources,
D. Machell –
S. Seth –
Supervisor, Human Resources,
There appeared on behalf of the
D. Ellickson –
G. MacPherson –
A. Trela – Grievor
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
submits that the article in question cannot apply in the case at hand. Firstly,
it cites the complexity of the investigation which involved consultation with
CN and required further consideration well beyond the conclusion of the final
investigatory statement. Additionally, it argues that as the
disposition of this grievance on its merits, the Arbitrator need not resolve
this dispute. If it were necessary to do so, however, I would be compelled to
conclude that the
With respect to the merits, the Arbitrator can find no basis for the assessment of discipline against the grievor. It is common ground that as he approached the Jarvis Street Ladder on his way into Union Station in Toronto, Locomotive Engineer Trela found himself in unfamiliar territory. His train was then being directed, at slow speed, over a complex of tracks leading to the station platform. It is common ground that a point in time when his conductor was occupied with a passenger distress call, the grievor allowed his movement to pass signal 3333ND which governs the CN north and south connecting tracks. As it happens, that signal was located on the left side of the track on which the grievor was moving. He therefore concluded that it was not the signal which governed his track.
The grievor’s perception is not unreasonable. As a general rule, fixed signals are to be located above or to the right of the track to which they apply. That is reflected in CROR rule 401 which reads as follows:
Wherever practicable, fixed signals other than switches will be located above, or to the right of, the track they govern. Where circumstances require that signals be otherwise placed, such conditions will be indicated by GBO or special instructions.
EXCEPTION: A block or interlocking signal that is required to be to the left of the track it governs need not be indicated by GBO or special instructions, provided that such location does not place the signal to the right of another signalled track.
Given the wording of the above rule, the grievor was entitled to believe that the signal which he observed as indicating stop did not apply to his track, unless there was a GBO or special instruction to the contrary. It is common ground that no such special instruction or GBO in fact existed. It would appear that it is only by word of mouth that some of the operating employees working in and around Union Station are aware that signal 3333ND governs the track which in fact is situated to the right of it, namely the track upon which the grievor was moving.
In the Arbitrator’s view, the grievor proceeded reasonably, and in accordance with the expectations that would be generated by the operating rules, including CROR rule 401, reproduced above. How, then, can he be faulted for misunderstanding the location of his signal when it was located in a manner inconsistent with rule 401 and he could have reference to no special instructions or GBO information to tell him otherwise? I do not see how he can.
For the purposes of clarity, I am also satisfied that there was no violation of the rules by the fact that the grievor did not broadcast an emergency call. Firstly, when the incident occurred he was entirely unaware that he had violated any rule, for the reasons touched upon above. Secondly, he was almost immediately given clearance to occupy the track where his train had stopped, so that the need for an emergency call and flagging was immediately obviated.
must therefore be allowed. The Arbitrator directs that suspension assessed
against the grievor be stricken from his record and that he be compensated for
all wages and benefits correspondingly lost. His disciplinary record shall
contain no reference to the incident of