SHP - 27
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
RAILWAY EMPLOYEES’ DEPARTMENT, DIVISION NO. 4
RE:REASSIGNMENT OF CERTAIN POSITIONS AT THE ST. LUC DIESEL SHOP
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; that the Company violated the provisions of Rule 3.2 of Wage Agreement No. 16 when it failed to show that the reassignment of 8 Machinists and 9 Machinist Helpers’ positions at the St. Luc Diesel Shop with rest days other than Saturday and Sunday was necessary to meet operational requirements.
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT
On February 15, 1972 the Company issued instructions to the effect that 8 Machinists and 9 Machinist Helpers’ positions at the St. Luc Diesel Shop were reassigned with rest days other than Saturday and Sunday. It is the position of the Union that alternatives other than the reassignment of the seventeen positions were available to the Company and that the reassignment of these positions was not necessary to meet operational requirements.
It is the position of the Company that after a thorough investigation of the situation, the Company had no alternative but to reassign these seventeen positions with rest days other than Saturday and Sunday in order, to meet operational requirements.
By Rule 3.1, employees are to be assigned (subject to certain exceptions not here material), two rest days in seven, and these days are to be consecutive, as far as is possible, within the terms of the article. In the assignment of rest days, preference is to be given to Saturday and Sunday, and then to Sunday and Monday. It is provided, however, that work weeks may be staggered in accordance with the Railways’ operational requirements.
Rule 3.2 is as follows:
In any dispute as to the necessity of departing from the pattern of two consecutive rest days or for granting rest days other than Saturday and Sunday, or Sunday and Monday for employees covered by Rule 3.1, it shall be incumbent on the Railway to show that such departure is necessary to meet operational requirements and that otherwise additional relief service or working an employee on an assigned rest day would be involved.
In the instant case the Company did alter the pattern of its assignments for certain positions at the St. Luc Diesel Shop, so that for the employees affected by the grievance, rest days would be other than Saturday and Sunday, or Sunday and Monday. A dispute as to the necessity of this has arisen. Under Rule 3.2, the onus is on the Company to establish that this change from the previous assignments (which had been in accordance with the pattern contemplated by article 3.2), was necessary in the sense described in the Rule.
The St. Luc Diesel Shop is a "running shop" rather than a "main shop". As such, it operates on a continuous basis, performing day-to-day servicing, inspection and repair of diesel locomotives. Prior to the change in assignments which led to certain employees being reassigned, with rest days other than Saturday and Sunday, the Company changed its system of mileage inspection of locomotives to one of datal inspection. This permitted a smoother, more constant flow of work through the shops. This change of method was, certainly a proper exercise of the management function. Partly as a result of this change, and partly, it seems, in the course of normal operations, it was found that there was more work to be done on weekends than could be handled by the staff then scheduled for weekend work. To increase the overall work force would not be a reasonable move, since the problem was not one of an insufficiency of staff in relation to the work to be done, but rather one of unbalanced scheduling of staff in relation to work required to be done on a continuous-operations basis. It is clearly provided by Rule 3.2 that the Company may, schedule its assignments so as to avoid additional relief service or the working of employees on assigned rest days. The schedules here complained of were instituted in order to meet work requirements, and to avoid the extra or overtime assignments referred to. I find that they were in fact necessary to meet the requirements of operations.
It is accordingly my conclusion that the assignments in question were not in violation of Rule 3.2. Accordingly the grievance is dismissed.
DATED at Toronto, this 26th day of April, 1975.
(sgd.) J. F. W. Weatherill