SHP - 25
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
RAILWAY EMPLOYEES’ DEPARTMENT, DIVISION NO. 4
RE:CLAIM BY CERTAIN EMPLOYEES LAID OFF AT ALYTH DIESEL SHOP, CALGARY
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
APPEARING FOR THE UNION:
J. H. Clark
APPEARING FOR THE COMPANY:
J. A. McGuire
J. E. Cameron
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on April 11, 1975.
AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE
Claim of the Railway Employees’ Department, Division No. 4, for one day’s wages on behalf of forty employees in the Alyth Diesel Shop, Calgary, on the basis that the Company violated the provisions of Rules 39.15 and 39.17 of Wage Agreement No. 15.
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT
On Monday, March 29, Tuesday, March 30 and Wednesday, March 31, 1971 due to an impending strike by enginemen on April 5, 1971 the Company, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 39.16 of Wage Agreement No. 15, issued the required four days’ notice of layoff to all employees working at the Alyth Diesel Shop, Calgary.
The Union contends that the Company violated the provisions of Rule 39.15 when, as a result of the layoff notices issued, twenty-four Machinists, four Machinists’ Helpers and two Apprentices were laid off while employees junior in seniority to them continued to work. The Union also claims that the Company violated the provisions of Rule 39.17 of Wage Agreement No. 15 when ten Machinists affected by the aforementioned layoff were refused permission to exercise their seniority to Ogden Shops, Calgary, which location forms part of the Calgary Terminals basic seniority territory.
The Company contends that the provisions of Rule 39.15 of Wage Agreement No. 15 were not violated in that no employee received less than four working days’ notice of layoff and that it was due to differences in days’ off which perpetrated the situation which resulted in senior employees being laid off in advance of junior employees. The Company further contends that Rule 39.17 of Wage Agreement No. 15 was not violated in that no employee was refused permission to exercise his seniority at Ogden Shops as prior to their having reported for duty at Ogden Shops, the impending strike by the enginemen was cancelled and these employees were recalled to report to their former positions at the Alyth Diesel Shop.
For the foregoing reasons the claims of the Union were declined.
The rules referred to provide for the layoff of employees in reverse seniority order and for the exercise of certain displacement rights by laid-off senior employees with respect to juniors who have been retained at work.
It is true that, at a given moment, certain senior employees were on layoff while junior employees were still working. All the employees concerned had received the notice of lay-off required by the collective agreement. The situation was that not all employees had the same schedules or rest days. As a result, some employees were working out the notice period over a longer calendar period than others. The same situation might be seen to occur, for example, on a three-shift operation, where an employee, laid off at the end of his day shift, seeks to displace a junior whose layoff does not take effect until the end of his night shift. The displacement claim in such a case is not a proper exercise of seniority rights, but an effort to gain overtime work at the expense of a fellow employee’s regular job. While in the instant case the overtime feature might or might not be present the general principle is the same. Here, the reduction of work forces did respect the seniority principles set out in the agreement, and did not deprive senior employees of their proper work opportunities.
Certain of the employees involved in this case would have been entitled to exercise their seniority to displace junior employees at Ogden Shops. Arrangements were made giving effect to that right, but notice of recall went out and was accepted prior to the time the employees would actually have displaced others. In the circumstances, and particularly having regard to the agreement made relating to the displacement, it is my view that the occasion for displacement did not arise.
For the foregoing reasons, it is my conclusion that there was no violation of the collective agreement. The grievance is therefore dismissed.
DATED at Toronto, this 26th day of April, 1975.
(sgd.) J. F. W. Weatherill