SHP - 29




(the "Company")



(the "Union")




SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill




J. H. Clark

H. Crane



W.H. Barton









A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on June 11, 1975.



In this grievance the Organization claims that the Company violated Rule 53.4 (a) of Wage Agreement No. 16 when Machinist Helpers E.J. Hussey and G.L. Gouchie were not called to work one shift each as tool crib attendants on an overtime basis, on Victoria Day, May 20, 1974.

The Joint Statement of Fact is as follows:

The tool crib attendant’s job is to issue and receive tools and to keep a record of same. Two shifts on the holiday are involved in this dispute. The first shift of the holiday, 2400 hours to 0800 hours, consisted of a skeleton staff of 16 shop craft employees of a regular complement of 34 employees. The second shift, 0800 hours to 1600 hours, consisted of a skeleton complement of 70 employees. During the night shift the lock on the tool crib was broken and an available Pipefitter was assigned as watchman for the balance of the shift. During the day shift the Assistant Foreman unlocked the tool crib as required.

Rule 53.4 (a) is as follows:

53.4 (a) Helpers’ work shall consist of helping machinists and apprentices, operating drill presses and bolt threaders not using facing, boring or turning head or milling apparatus, wheel presses (on car, engine truck and tender truck wheels), nut tappers and facers, bolt pointing and centering machines; cranemen helpers on locomotive and car work, except as provided in Rule 53.2, attending tool room, shaft and machinery oiling; locomotive oiling; box packing; assisting in dismantling locomotives and engines; applying all couplings between engine and tender; locomotive tender and draft rigging work, except when performed by carmen, except as provided in Rule 53.2; beltmen; motor truck operators; supply man (material carrier); lagger (other than wood), and all other work generally recognized as helpers’ work.

Rule 53.4 (a) is one of the machinists’ craft special rules, and it is the Union’s contention that in assigning a pipefitter (during the night shift) and an assistant foreman (for the day shift) and an assistant foreman (for the day shift) to perform certain duties in connection with the tool crib, the Company violated the system of craft jurisdiction which is protected by the collective agreement, and deprived machinist helpers of work to which they were entitled. By Rule 25.1, "Labourers, or similar class of workmen" shall not be permitted to do helpers’ work if regular helpers are available. It is not clear that a pipefitter or an assistant foreman should be considered as "labourers or similar class of workmen", but it may be that article 25.1 should be read as providing a general protection for the work of those in helper classifications. Although it is not clear from the material before me, I assume for the purposes of this case that the grievors were the "regular helpers" and would be assigned as Tool Crib Attendants in the normal course. It may be doubted, however, whether they could be said to be "available" in the circumstances of this case, where they were absent on a paid holiday. This is particularly so with respect to the night shift, where, when the lock was broken, a pipefitter was assigned as watchman. It is not necessary for this award, however, to make any determination as to the scope of Rule 25.1 or as to "availability" of the grievors, since I find that the grievance cannot succeed in any event.

The grievance cannot succeed because the work which was performed – the watching of the tool crib, and its occasional unlocking – did not constitute the substantial performance of the job of Tool Crib Attendant, or of any regular job that might be required of a machinist helper. A machinist helper, it will be remembered, performs work related to a trade classification and it involves much more than simply watching or locking and unlocking a door. As a Tool Crib Attendant, a machinist helper performs both "storekeeper" and "trade" functions. He is responsible for the issuance and return of tools, maintenance of stock and recommending ordering of supplies, reporting of dirty or damaged equipment ("storekeeper" functions), and he is responsible for sharpening, repairing, greasing and oiling and generally maintaining tools ("trade" functions). These functions were not performed by the pipefitter or the assistant foreman, who could be said to have "kept an eye" on the tool crib during the shifts in question. They maintained the security of the area as the Tool Crib Attendant would have done, but apart from this incident of the work they did not perform Tool Crib Attendant tasks. Since the substantial work of a Tool Crib Attendant was not performed on the shifts in question, the grievors had no claim to be assigned to it. While I would agree that, the Company would be under no obligation to assign anyone to work as a Tool Crib Attendant on a holiday – and indeed would appear, from Rule 46.10 (formerly Rule 46.12) to be under an obligation to avoid such assignment if possible – it might well be that, had work as a Tool Crib Attendant actually been required and assigned, the grievors would have been entitled to the assignment. That question need not be answered here since, as I find, the real Job of Tool Crib Attendant was not performed. This case is different from two recent cases between this Union and the Ontario Northland Railway (awards dated April 26, 1975) where it was found in the one case that a pipefitter did in fact perform the work of a mechanic helper and in the other that a labourer did the work of a machinist helper. The material before me in this case does not permit a similar conclusion.

For the foregoing reasons, the grievance must be dismissed.

DATED at Toronto, this 3rd day of July, 1975.

(sgd.) J. F. W. Weatherill