SHP - 26
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
RAILWAY EMPLOYEES’ DEPARTMENT, DIVISION NO. 4
RE:GRIEVANCE OF M. ROCHELEAU
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
Dispute between CP Rail, Atlantic Region and the Railway Employees’ Department, Division No. 4, concerning a claim for four days’ wages on behalf of Machinist Apprentice M. Rocheleau due to the Company’s alleged violation of Rule 23.15 of Wage Agreement No. 16.
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT
On July 27, August 10, 17 and 20, 1973, Machinist Apprentice M. Rocheleau, employed in the Cote St. Luc Car Department, was laid off due to the rotating strikes called by the Associated Non-Operating Railway Unions.
It is the position of the Union that Rule 23.15 of Wage Agreement No. 16 was violated due to the fact that Mr. Rocheleau was not laid off in the order of his seniority.
It is the position of the Company that Mr. Rocheleau was properly laid off in accordance with the provisions of Rules 23.15 and 23.16 of Wage Agreement No. 16.
Rule 23.15 provides as follows:
When it becomes necessary to layoff employees for any reason, the force shall be reduced in reverse seniority order as per Rule 23.3 unless otherwise provided in craft special rules.
Mr. Rocheleau was laid off at the St. Luc Car Department, while junior apprentices were retailed at work in the St. Luc Diesel Shop. It would appear that layoffs are made as required at each of three locations in the Montreal Terminals: the two just mentioned, and Glen Yard. Employees are then permitted to displace junior employees at the other locations.
Rule 23.15 would appear to entitle the grievor to the benefit of his seniority in these circumstances, unless the case is one coming within the exception, that is, unless there is some other provision in special craft rules. There are, by Rule 23.3, separate seniority lists maintained for craftsmen and helpers in a number of listed trades. There is no reference to apprentices. Now it does not follow from this that apprentices have do seniority rights. On the contrary the fact that the craft special rules make no provision for apprentices means simply that their case is not one for which an exception to the general provisions of article 23.15 has been provided. Accordingly, the general rule that "the force shall be reduced in reverse seniority order" applies to apprentices, and the grievor was entitled to exercise his seniority rights.
The fact that one of the parties may have sought an amendment to the collective agreement which would deal explicitly with the subject-matter is not to be considered as an admission that the agreement as it now stands does not support this contention. It is the agreement as it stands that must govern.
For the reasons set out above, I conclude that the grievor was entitled to exercise seniority rights. The grievance is accordingly allowed. It is my award that the grievor be compensated for his loss of earnings at the rates prevailing at the time.
DATED at Toronto, this 26th day of April, 1975.
(sgd.) J. F. W. Weatherill