SHP - 43

IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION

BETWEEN

ONTARIO NORTHLAND RAILWAY

(the "Company")

AND

RAILWAY EMPLOYEES' DEPT., DIVISION NO. 4, A.F.ofL.-C.I.O.

(the "Union")

RE: GRIEVANCE RELATING TO THE PERFORMANCE OF CERTAIN WORK

 

SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill

 

 

APPEARING FOR THE UNION:

J. W. Asprey

 

 

APPEARING FOR THE COMPANY:

A. Rotondo

 

 

APPEARING FOR THE International Brotherhood of Firemen & Oilers:

W. McNaught

 

 

A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on April 12, 1977.

 

AWARD OF THE ARBITRATOR

The joint statement of issue in this matter is as follows:

On November 4, 1976, the Union Committee submitted a grievance accompanied by a time card for three hours on behalf of Machinist Helper R. Gravelle claiming that the operation of a truck by a labourer to move materials on that day was a violation of Rule 25.1 of Wage Agreement 15.

At the hearing in this matter, there appeared to be some misunderstanding between the parties as to the facts of the particular grievance. There are, it seems, several grievances relating to the use of Labourers from other bargaining units to perform what is alleged to be Machinist's Helpers' work. The case with which the Union dealt at the hearing was one in which a labourer, a member of the bargaining unit represented by the Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers, used a half-ton truck to transport rail ties which were to be used for blocking purposes in connection with the placement of a steam generator. The Company's presentation involved a case where the same vehicle was used by a Labourer to remove some excess electrical conduit pipe from a box car to the stores building as part of a clean-up operation. Mr. McNaught, who seems to have been the Labourer involved in both cases, stated that, on the date referred to, it was the latter work that was performed. In the light of this direct evidence, the most probable conclusion is that the work complained of on November 4, 1976, was that of the removal of electrical conduit pipe from a site at which Machinists had been working. While the two matters are obviously closely related in terms of the principles involved, I decide here only the precise question before me, which I take to be whether the removal of the conduit pipe by a Labourer was in violation of the collective agreement between these parties.

Article 25.1 of the collective agreement is as follows:

25.1 Labourers, or similar class or workmen, shall not be permitted to do helpers' work as outlined in Craft Rules if regular helpers are available but if so unused one hour or more shall be paid at helpers' rate for all work performed as helpers.

No issue is raised in this case as to the "availability" of helpers. The question is simply whether the performance of the work in question by a Labourer constituted the performance of "helper's work". Machinists' Helpers' work is defined in article 53.4 (a) as follows:

53.4(a) Helpers' work shall consist of helping machinists and apprentices, operating drill presses and bolt threaders not using facing, boring and 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 (material carrier); lagger (other than wood); and all other work generally recognized as a helpers' work.

In the instant case, it would appear that a Labourer did operate a "motor truck". It is not claimed, however, that all "motor truck operation" is exclusively Machinists' Helpers' work. The claim is asserted with respect to truck operations which are a part of "helping machinists and apprentices". It is acknowledged that the truck in question is used, properly, with relation to work other than that of the Machinist's craft, and no claim is made with respect to such circumstances.

It was argued by the Union that what was done was outside the scope of the work proper to members (such as the Labourer in question) of the Firemen's and Oilers' bargaining unit. From the scope clause of the collective agreement covering that unit, it would appear that work such as this might properly be done by a Labourer, since "moving materials" is a task listed for Labourers in Article 2 of that agreement. The question before me however, is whether under the collective agreement which governs this case, Wage Agreement No. 16, the work which was done falls exclusively within the scope of Machinists' Helpers, so that it was a violation of article 25.1 to have a Labourer perform it.

In my view, the work of transporting materials using the half-ton truck was done by the Labourer in the course of his own work as such. While a Machinists' Helper might have performed this work in the course of his own duties, the performance merely of this aspect of the work the return of surplus materials to storage did not, in itself constitute the work of a Machinists' Helper. It was work which might be performed within the scope of several classifications, but it would appear to be "typically" Labourer's work and is not, under this collective agreement, exclusively that of employees associated with any craft. Not every motor truck operator is a Machinists' Helper, although a Machinists' Helper may properly operate a motor truck in the course of his duties. The Labourer was not, in the instant case, acting as a Machinists' Helper.

For the foregoing reasons it is my conclusion that there was no violation of article 25.1. The grievance is therefore dismissed.

DATED at Toronto, this 3rd day of May, 1977.

J. F. W. Weatherill

Arbitrator