IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
Canadian Pacific limited
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS
AND IN THE MATTER OF A GRIEVANCE OF C. AUDETTE
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
J. H. Blotsky
M. M. Yorston
And on behalf of the Union:
W. K. Redhead
A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on November 12, 1981.
The Joint Statement of Fact and Joint Statement of Issue in this matter are as follows:
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT:
Mr. C. Audette was dismissed from Company service on April 16, 1981, for having falsified the facts in his statement of March 31, 1981, and for having attempted to fraudulently obtain Workmen’s Compensation benefits.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
It is the position of the Union that in dismissing Road Electrician Mr. C. Audette, under the Circumstances, the Company treated him unjustly.
It is the Company’s position that Mr. Audette’s fraudulent action was sufficient cause for his dismissal.
The grievor claimed benefits in respect of an alleged industrial accident which he suffered on February 13, 1981. He was paid some $302.81 by the company, which amount, it appears, he has since repaid or undertaken to repay.
The grievor did in fact slip on some ice on the company parking lot at Ste. Therese on the day in question, and he broke his right leg. The grievor, submitted a claim for compensation in which he asserted that the accident occurred at 16:35, while the grievor was still on duty. He made this assertion in a report dated February 18, and repeated it at an investigation on March 31.
In fact, as the grievor acknowledged later in the investigation on March 31, and as he subsequently confirmed, that statement was false. The accident occurred at about 2200, when the grievor, who was on his way to his cottage with his family, stopped at the Ste. Therese station to pick up some personal effects he had left in a company truck. Many of the details of the grievor’s original account of the matter, including particularly, the time when it occurred, were concocted by the grievor to justify a claim for compensation, and a payment by the company, to which he knew he was not entitled.
The grievor thus obtained money from the company by fraud. This was clearly a conscious and deliberate scheme, and the grievor held to his untrue statements over a considerable period of time. It would appear that he acknowledged the truth, and undertook to repay what he had received, only when it became apparent that the company had proof that his story was false.
There is no analogy, then, with cases of "spur-of-the-moment" wrongdoing, where human frailty prevails, and may sometimes seem understandable. There, was, here, a deliberate attempt to defraud the company. Conduct of that sort, as is well established, is just cause for discharge. There was, as I find, such cause in this case, and the grievance must therefore be dismissed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 17th day of December, 1981.
(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill