SHP - 17
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
ONTARIO NORTHLAND RAILWAY
RAILWAY EMPLOYEES’ DEPARTMENT, DIVISION NO. 4
RE:PERFORMANCE OF MACHINIST HELPER’S WORK BY A PIPEFITTER HELPER
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
APPEARING FOR THE UNION:
J. H. Clark
APPEARING FOR THE COMPANY:
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on April 10, 1975.
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT
On August 3, 1972 a pipefitter helper was worked in the Machinist craft to perform the work of a Machinists Helper.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE
The Machinists’ organization consider such a move a violation of Rule 25.1. The Company does not agree.
It is not disputed that on August, 3, 1972, during the shop close down for vacation, a Pipefitter was used during the day to perform work normally done by a Mechanic Helper.
Rule 25.1 is as follows:
Labourers, or similar class of workmen, shall not be permitted to do helpers’ work as outlined in craft rules, if regular helpers are available but if so used four hours or more shall be paid at helpers’ rate for all work performed.
In my view, the primary purpose of that rule is to protect the rights of employees holding certain classifications to perform the work coming within the scope of the classification. This is particularly so in the case of a provision which contemplates, as this does, the performance of work of a craft nature. For this purpose, a helper in some other craft may be considered as "similar" to a labourer, although he might not be so treated in other respects. The issue then is whether there was a Machinist Helper "available" to perform the work in question. There seems to be no dispute that Mr. W. Marsh was available at the time and would have been assigned the work, had it been assigned to a Machinist Helper. On this latter point, it may well be that the Company would not have assigned the work to anyone, had it realized the assignment to the Pipefitter Helper (whose work in his own classification was very light). The fact is, however, that the work was assigned, and that it was assigned contrary to article 25.1. Whether the work was really necessary or not is a question which need not be considered.
The provisions, to which the Company referred, relating to the employment of those not entitled to a full vacation, and to the vacation of those skilled employees necessary "to balance the staff" are not, in my view, material to this case.
For the foregoing reasons, the grievance is allowed. The grievor is to be paid at the then prevailing rates.
DATED at Toronto, this 26th day of April, 1975.
(sgd.) J. F. W. Weatherill