CANADIAN RAILWAY OFFICE OF ARBITRATION
& DISPUTE RESOLUTION
CASE NO. 4084
BOMBARDIER TRANSPORTATION CANADA INC.
termination of Qualified Commuter Train Operator, F. Hederich, on
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
were held on October 22 and
has denied the
(SGD.) G. MACPHERSON (SGD.) A. BROWN
GENERAL CHAIRMAN MANAGER, LABOUR RELATIONS
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
M. Horvat –
A. Brown –
Manager, Human Resources,
D. Mitchell –
General Manager Operations,
There appeared on behalf of the
M. Church –
G. MacPherson –
F. Hederich – Grievor
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
The grievor is an individual who can be justly proud of having a long and distinguished career in railroading, particularly in freight service with CN where he was employed for some thirty-four years. The events in relation to this grievance, however, call into question the extent to which the grievor has adjusted to the different demands of operating high speed commuter trains in GO Train service.
discloses that in January of 2010 the grievor was issued a three day suspension
for rules violations which occurred during his operation of GO trains on
incident, which resulted in the grievor’s discharge, occurred on
A number of points are raised in the grievor’s defence. Firstly, it is suggested that he may not have been aware at the time that his train in fact went into an emergency brake application, as the amount of air in the system would have been so low as little or no exhaust sound was generated. While technically that may explain why the grievor did not make any broadcast of the emergency brake application, or report it to anyone, it does little to commend his awareness of the state of the braking system of his train and of all of the circumstances under which he was operating as he approached a commuter train station at high speed.
element raised in the grievor’s defence is that his judgement and faculties may
have been impaired by the secondary effects of the drug Champix, a prescription
drug which he was apparently taking to assist him in quitting smoking. The
Arbitrator’s view this aspect of the
The grievor is not a long service employee with the Company, having been hired in 2009. His disciplinary record, as well as observations of his performance, leave little doubt but that he was less than comfortable in the operation of high speed commuter trains in the GO train service operated by the Company. Perhaps most significantly, he received two serious measures of discipline relating to rules infractions and had a previous overshooting of a platform before the culminating incident at the Port Credit station. For the reasons touched upon above, I am satisfied that the grievor’s physical and mental condition at the time, for which only he can take responsibility, as well as his grievous errors in the handling of his train did give the Company grounds to review his overall suitability for operating high speed GO trains. In my view the Company’s determination that the grievor was simply not suited to that function was taken for good and valid reasons and should not be overturned.
For the foregoing reasons must be dismissed.
(signed) MICHEL G. PICHER