SHP - 65




(the "Company")



(the "Union")



SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill




A. Manocchio



V.E. Hupka


J.M. Kearns Brotherhood of Railway Carmen




A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on January 9, 1980



In this grievance dated April 2, 1979, the grievor protests the assignment of certain overtime work to another employee, and seeks payment of nine hours at time and one-half.

The grievor is a machinist, and is a member of the bargaining unit represented by the International Association of Machinists at the Company's shops at Sault Ste. Marie. On March 31, 1979, certain overtime work was performed in the Wheel Shop. The work was performed by two persons, regularly employed in the Wheel Shop. One of these employees was a machinist and the other, who assisted him, was a carman, and a member of the bargaining unit represented by the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen. The grievor claims, in effect, that he ought to have been the second employee called to do the work in question.

The Joint Statement of Issue is as follows:

The overhead crane in the Wheel Department required that a cable be changed. The Shop Foreman assigned a carman and a machinist from the Wheel Department to carry out this work.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers contends that the Company in using a carman to carry out these repairs violated the Memorandum of Understanding of February 13/79.

The memorandum of understanding, one of a number of letters appended to the collective agreement is as follows:


It is understood and agreed as follows:

(a) That in addition to the two carmen there is full employment in the wheel shop for one machinist who will be employed as, a Machine-Operator performing the following work:

(a) wheel turning

(b) boring wheels and facing wheels

(c) operation of the wheel presses

NOTE: The wheel boring machine located in the Back shop Machine shop is excluded from the provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding.

(b) If additional assistance is required in the wheel shop over and above the machinist and two carmen i.e. a fourth man, assistance would come from the machinists' organization.

(c) Should the volume of work increase to the extent that more than four employees are required the fifth employee will come from the carmen's group, the sixth employee from the machinists' group and alternating from one group to the other thereafter.

Reduction in staff will be done in reverse order to the manner in which additional staff was set up.

(d) Other work (other than wheel work) formerly handled by the machinists would continue to be performed by machinists as and when repaired. This includes scheduled maintenance, breakdown repairs and general overhaul of machinery in the wheel shop.

(e) Replacement of wheel shop employees will come from the craft in which the vacancy occurs.

(f) Relieving of employees when necessary account annual vacation, sickness, leave off absence, bereavement leave etc., to be as per Memoranda of Understanding dated August 9, 1970.

(g) That Wheel Borer - Specialist J. Steel will be trained to be fully qualified to perform the duties referred to in Paragraph (a) of this Memorandum. The necessary training will be provided by a machinist.

(h) As of the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, Wheel Borer - Specialist J. Steel will be added to the machinist and fitter's seniority group and given seniority standing immediately behind all present promoted machinists and fitters thereby giving Mr. Steel seniority rights over machinists and fitters promoted subsequent to the date established as well as fitter's helpers hired after the date established.

This Memorandum of Understanding supersedes the Memorandum of Understanding dated March 9, 1977 between the International Association of Machinists and the Company. This Memorandum of Understanding is in full settlement of grievance dated May 10, 1977 concerning machinists performing carmen's work in the Wheel Shop.

Signed at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario this 13th day of February, 1979.

This memorandum sets out a tripartite agreement, made between the Company, the International Association of Machinists (the Union party to these proceedings, representing the grievor), and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen. It replaces an earlier agreement made between the Company and the International Association of Machinists on March 9, 1977;

The Company's operations at Sault Ste. Marie include a Locomotive Shop, whose employees are (subject perhaps to minor exceptions) represented by the International Association of Machinists, and a Car Shop, where the employees (again, subject to exceptions) are represented by the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen. As a result of certain technological and Operational changes of which notice was given in March, 1976, a Wheel Shop was established in the Sault Ste. Marie operations. The Wheel Shop is located within the building occupied by the Car Shop, but it is a separate operation.

There is, in the Wheel Shop, an overhead crane, used for various jobs involving the Wheel Shop. The crane was, according to the evidence, installed by outside contractors It would seem that the crane was installed fairly recently; there is no clear evidence as to any established practice relating to its maintenance and repair. In the Locomotive Shop, not surprisingly, such repairs would certainly be carried out by machinists. The grievor, who works on the repair and maintenance of on-and-off-road machinery works, where necessary, with the assistance of another machinist or a fitter-helper, never a carman. That too is not surprising, given the nature of his regular work.

The Wheel Shop (where this grievance arose) has a complement of three: two carmen and one machinist, each represented by the appropriate trade Union. That complement is the one called for by the memorandum of agreement, which speaks, in clause (a) of "the two carmen" and, in addition, "one machinist". Clauses (b) and (c) of the Memorandum deal with the method of dealing with the situation which arises where an increase in the complement is required.

The instant case does not involve an increase in the regular complement of the Wheel Shop, but rather the propriety of a particular assignment to a member of the regular staff. On the day in question it was necessary to carry out repairs to the Wheel Shop overhead crane, which had broken doom. The work included the changing of a cable as has been noted, it appears to have taken two employees nine hours to do the work. The employees assigned were a machinist and a carman.

It is contended on behalf of the grievor that clause (d) of the memorandum of agreement requires that only machinists be called on to perform such work, and that he ought therefore to have been called in to assist the regular machinist on the job in question. Certainly "break down repairs" in the Wheel Shop is work which is within the scope of that which machinists may properly do, and in this regard it is difficult to see how the grievance of a carman (likewise filed on April 2, 1979, but which is not before me), to the effect that he, and not the machinist, should have been called for the work, could succeed. Clause (d) involves the necessary implication that the work referred to is not exclusively carmen's work. It does not necessarily follow, however, that because the work may be performed by machinists, it is exclusively their work.

The arrangement in the Wheel Shop represents an accommodation of interest which had previously been defined more in terms of work location than in terms of the appropriate scope of job classifications. Both carmen and machinists had performed certain mechanical repairs, although there is no suggestion that there is an equivalence of trade skills. Clause (d) of the memorandum of agreement provides protection for machinists, giving them the right to continue to perform their work in the new circumstances of the Wheel Shop. The provision for alternating as between groups when increasing staff is clearly consistent with the view that the memorandum represents an accommodation of interests: it would be inconsistent with a rigid separation of tasks. Otherwise, the staffing would increase by classification according to need.

There is of course a distinction between the classifications involved: a carmen would not, I assume, be qualified to perform all of the work of a machinist. It is not my intention to blur that distinction. In the instant case, however, working as a helper, to the extent that it was within his qualifications, was within the scope of the work traditionally done by carmen. The memorandum of agreement does not prevent such work.

There was, then, no violation of the memorandum of agreement in the circumstances of this case, and the grievance must therefore be dismissed.

DATED AT TORONTO, this 17th day of January, 1980.

(signed) J.F.W. Weatherill