SHP - 52



Canadian National Railway Company

(the "Company")



(the "Union")



SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill




J.W. Asprey

E. Forzley



J. McLeod



A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on February 17, 1978.



The parties' Joint Statement in this matter is as follows:


Claim by Electrician J. Pinard, Montreal, for meal allowance after having been called outside of regular hours to work overtime.


Electrician J. Pinard was regularly assigned to the Area Maintenance Gang at Montreal, on the 0730 hours to 1530 hours shift. On 7 April 1977 Mr. Pinard was called out on overtime at 0030 hours to make repairs to an electrical fixture at Rivières des Prairies on the Montreal Area. He was engaged in this work until 0730 hours.

Mr. Pinard subsequently submitted a claim for a meal allowance and the Company denied the claim.

The Union contends that Electrician Pinard is entitled to a meal allowance under the provisions of Rules 6.2 and 6.9. The Company maintains that this employee does not come under the provisions of Rule 6.

* * * * *

Rules 6.2 and 6.9 of the collective agreement, referred to in the Joint Statement, are as follows:

6.2 In no case shall he be paid for a total of less than eight (8) hours each calendar day, when such irregular service prevents the employee from making J. McLeod his regular daily hours at home station. Where meals and lodging are not provided by the railway, actual necessary expenses will be allowed.

6.9 This Rule 6 also applies to Carmen and other Shopmen sent out on the road for other emergency work, except as to Carmen regularly assigned for road repair work as per Rule 8.

These rules must be read together with Rule 6.1, which sets out the general entitlement of certain employees to premium rates for certain emergency work. Rule 6.1 is as follows:

6.1 Employees regularly assigned to work at a shop, engine house, repair track or inspection point, when called for emergency work away from such shop, engine house, repair track or inspection point, will be paid from the time ordered to leave home station until his return for all time worked, in accordance with the practice at home station, and all time waiting or travelling shall be paid for at straight time rates for straight time hours and time and one-half for overtime hours.

The grievor, who is a member of a bargaining unit covered by wage Agreement No. 16, was, it is not disputed, "called for emergency work" on the day in question. Meals were not provided by the railway (no question of lodging arises in this case) and the grievor claims "actual necessary expenses", pursuant to Rule 6.2.

The Company would, it appears, have provided or paid for a meal for the grievor had it been necessary for him to travel off the island of Montreal to perform this work. Such payment would have been pursuant to the Company's own policy in this regard and would not necessarily have been required by the collective agreement. The fact that the grievor did not travel off the island of Montreal in this case, and thus would not be entitled to meal payment under the Company's policy, does not affect the question in issue here, namely whether or not the grievor was entitled to meal payment under the collective agreement. It is, of course, the collective agreement which governs in these proceedings.

Since the grievor appears to have been "called for emergency work" within, the meaning of Rule 6.1, and since a meal was not provided (the grievor having been on duty some seven hours) as contemplated by Rule 6.2, then, again pursuant to Rule 6.2, "actual necessary expenses" should be paid to the grievor provided, of course, that he comes within the category of persons for whom that benefit is provided.

It is clear that the benefit provided under Rule 6.2 is intended for employees to whom Rule 6.1 applies. Rule 6.1 does not apply to all employees "called for emergency work", but only to employees "regularly assigned to work at a shop, engine house, repair track or inspection point" and applies to them when they are called for emergency work away from such shop, engine house, repair track or inspection point.

The grievor, however, was regularly assigned to the Area Maintenance Gang at Montreal. As such he might be called on to work in a shop, engine house, repair track or inspection point, but may also, and does work on the road or anywhere within the geographical area for which his maintenance gang is responsible. The nature of the work performed by a maintenance gang differs from that of tradesmen employed at regular locations such as shops, engine houses, repair tracks or inspection points in that the area maintenance gang is engaged in maintenance and repair of fixed facilities over a wide geographical area, whereas shop employees are, in general, engaged in repair and maintenance of rolling stock at a single location.

The grievor was entitled to continuous overtime pay, which would include a meal period pursuant to Rule 5.2. That is not in issue here. He was not, however, an employee "regularly assigned to work at a shop, engine house, repair track or inspection point", and while he was called for emergency work such work, while on an overtime call-out basis, did not involve any change in conditions from his regular work, which might equally have taken him to any point in the area. The grievor was not "called away" from a shop, engine house, repair track or inspection point to which he was, regularly assigned. Accordingly, he did not come within the category of employees to which Rule 6.1 refers.

The grievor was not, therefore, entitled to meal expenses in the circumstances of this case. There has been no violation of the collective agreement and the grievance must therefore be dismissed.

DATED at Toronto, this 6th day of March, 1978.

(signed) J.F.W. Weatherill