IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
Canadian National Railway Company
CANADIAN COUNCIL OF RAILWAY SHOPCRAFT EMPLOYEES AND ALLIED WORKERS
AND IN THE MATTER OF A GRIEVANCE RELATING TO THE ASSIGNMENT OF MAINTENANCE REPAIR WORK AT MacMILLAN YARD
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
W. A. McLeish
J. A. Cameron
And on behalf of the Union:
J. W. Asprey
A hearing in this matter was held at Ottawa on November 1, 1981.
The Dispute and Joint Statement of Issue in this matter are as follows:
The assignment of maintenance repair of Equipment Department vehicles and material handling equipment at MacMillan Yard, Toronto from the Car Shop to the Automotive Department, CN Express.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
On July 31, 1981, the maintenance and repair of Equipment Department vehicles and material handling at MacMillan Yard, Toronto, being performed by Machinists in the Car Shops, MacMillan Yard, Toronto, was assigned to employees in the Automotive Department Garage of CN Express. (CBRT&GW Union)
It is the Union’s claim that the work in question is Machinists’ work within the meaning of Rules 53.2, 53.4, 61.1 and 23.14 of Wage Agreement No. 16 and in assigning the work the Company violated the foregoing rules.
The Company rejects the claim.
Rule 53 of the collective agreement sets out certain Special Rules for the Machinists’ craft. Rule 53.2 defines Machinists’ work, and Rule 53.4 defines Machinists’ Helpers work, and makes certain provisions as the relationship between Machinists and Helpers. There would appear to be no doubt that the work in question, that of maintenance repair of vehicles and material handling equipment is work which, as far as the tasks performed is concerned, is, in general, Machinists’ work. Work on the vehicles question has been performed at MacMillan Yard for years by Machinists, members of this bargaining unit. Now, however, the vehicles and equipment are being repaired at another facility, belonging to the company, where the employees engaged in the work are members of another bargaining unit. The issue is whether or not this is a violation of the collective agreement. (That is, in any event the only issue arising out of such a change in assignments which would properly come before an arbitrator).
Rule 23 of the collective agreement deals with seniority, and rule 23.14 deals with the exercise of seniority within a seniority terminal. The assignment of work, or the cessation of an assignment, is not in itself a matter of seniority. The fact that there is or is not work to be done may give rise to a seniority question, as to who is entitled to it, or as to the bumping rights of those who have lost it. The seniority provisions, however, do not deal with the matter of the determination by the company to have work done or not. Seniority provisions relate to the relative rights of employees within the bargaining unit, and not the matter of the existence or otherwise of work for them to do.
Rule 61 of the collective agreement is as follows:
Rule 61 – Jurisdictional Understanding
61.1 It is understood and agreed between the parties hereto that any alterations or amendments herein proposed in work classification are for the purposes of clarification and rate fixing only, and shall not be interpreted as affecting or disturbing in any manner the jurisdictional understanding and practices between the several crafts, parties to this Agreement, as now exists, or may hereafter be agreed between the crafts themselves.
This provision clearly deals with the matter of the relationship between the several craft unions, parties to the collective agreement. It does not deal with the matter of whether certain work is or is not to be performed.
The instant grievance is in some ways analogous to a "contracting out" case, although here the company has not contracted work out to another employer; rather it has changed the location at which work is to be done. The work is still done by the company’s own employees, but it is now done by those in another bargaining unit.
For this or any other grievance to succeed, it must be shown that there has been a violation of the collective agreement. The provisions to which I was referred simply do not create any obligation .on the company to continue to perform the same work at the same place, and do not show any undertaking by the company not to move work, either by way of subcontracting, or by way of assignment to persons in another bargaining unit.
No violation of the collective agreement being established, the grievance must be dismissed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 24th day of November, 1981.
(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill