IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
BETWEEN: CANADIAN PACIFIC LIMITED
AND CANADIAN COUNCIL OF RAILWAY SHOPCRAFT
EMPLOYEES AND ALLIED WORKERS
AND IN THE MATTER OF THE GRIEVANCE OF W.J. BOAN AND L.L. GIBSON
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F.W. Weatherill
A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on May 14, 1981.
E.W. Tandy for the union
P. Reynolds and M.M. Yorston for the company
The Joint Statement of Fact and Joint Statement of Issue in
this matter are as follows:
STATEMENT OF FACT
Carman Trainees W. Boan and L. L. Gibson, Regina, were
dismissed from service of C.P. Rail for alleged
intoxication while on duty, Regina, November 23, 1980.
STATEMENT OF ISSUE
It is the position of the Union that in dismissing Carman
Trainees Boan and Gibson the Company treated them
It is the Company's position that in the circumstances
the dismissal Messrs. Boan and Gibson was warranted.
The material before me establishes beyond any serious question
that the grievors were in fact intoxicated while on duty. Although
Mr. Gibson, in his statement, would appear to deny any sort of
misconduct at all, it is clear from Mr. Boan's statement that he
had been drinking, and the evidence as to the wild and erratic
manner in which the two grievors (Mr. Boan was at the wheel; Mr.
Gibson having lost his licence some time ago as a result of an
impaired driving charge), establishes that if Mr. Gibson was not
himself intoxicated (although the police held him for some eleven
hours for being intoxicated in a public place, contrary to the
Saskatchewan Liquor Act), he was aware of the intoxicated condition
of Mr. Boan. No charge was laid against Mr. Gibson, however, and
he was eventually released. The police report as to the symptoms
of intoxication on the part of both men was shown to the union, and
I think that the procedural requirements of the collective
agreement were met, although the company officer was in error, I
think, in saying that a written request for such evidence was
The grievors, along with other employees, would appear to have
participated in a "Grey Cup party" held at the terminal, apparently
with the cooperation of the Mechanical Supervisor, who subsequently
resigned. Certain employees who, it would seem, participated a
little too freely in the party were suspended for short periods of
time. Some of those present were off duty at the time, others were
The grievors arrived at work well before the starting time of
their shift and there is some evidence, although they deny it, of
their drinking before the start of the shift. Mr. Boan, it is
clear, had done considerable drinking at home before coming to
Mr. Gibson went on duty at 1500 and Mr. Boan at 1600. Shortly
after 1600, the grievors were observed driving a company truck in
a wild and clearly dangerous manner. They drove at high speed and
in one instance went part-way through a red light. Shortly
afterward, they were apprehended.
I do not think the two cases can be distinguished, since while
the evidence as to Mr. Gibson's condition is somewhat less clear,
there is no doubt that he participated fully with Mr. Boan, not
simply in a party at which a little drinking was done, but, most
seriously, in a wild and drunken joyride down the streets of the
city in a company truck.
The seriousness of such conduct cannot be exagerated. The
grievors do not appear to have shown any contrition although Mr.
Boan appears to have pleaded guilty to a charge of impaired
driving, on which he was convicted and fined.
In the Consolidated Truck Lines case, 3 L.A.C. 964, it was
"Certainly condoning drinking by drivers going out on
highways in charge of 5-ton equipment, hauling loaded
30-foot trailers, would be courting disastrous
consequences. If management permitted sympathy for any
individual to sway them into lowering the most rigid
requirements in that regard, they would he clearly
failing in their duty and embarking upon a potentially
dangerous course. The public safety must rise above the
consequence of punishment to any individual employee."
Also in the C.R.O.A. case No. 426, the following statement was
made, in the case of an employee who drove a highway vehicle while
under the influence of alcohol:
"In a number of cases it has been held that violation of
Rule "G" by railway employees who are subject to the
uniform code of operating rules, constitutes just cause
for discharge. In those cases, the employees concerned
were involved with the operation of trains, but there can
be no doubt that the same consideration must apply with
respect to persons operating motor vehicles. An offence
of that nature is so directly contrary to the
requirements of the job, and creates such a real risk of
serious harm, that it must, I think, be concluded that it
constitutes just cause for discharge."
In the instant case, the grievors do not have any very great
seniority, and while there is no evidence of any disciplinary
record, there appear to be no special circumstances which would
exempt them from the application of the appropriate penalties, as
described in the cases mentioned.
For the foregoing reasons, the grievances are dismissed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 29th day of May, 1981.