IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN PACIFIC LIMITED
Canadian Council of Railway Shopcraft Employees and Allied Workers
IN THE MATTER OF THE GRIEVANCE OF H. RENAUDETTE
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
L. A. Clarke
M. M. Yorston
And on behalf of the Union:
A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on March 11, 1982.
The Joint Statement of Fact and Joint Statement Issue in this matter are as follows:
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT:
Carman H. Renaudette, North Bay, Ontario, was dismissed from the service of C.P. Rail on August 31, 1991, for the unauthorized possession of Company material and for selling same for his own personal gain.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
It is the position of the Union that the Company, in dismissing Mr. Renaudette from the service, treated him unjustly.
It is the Company’s position that there was just cause for Mr. Renaudette’s dismissal in the circumstances of this case.
There is no dispute as to the facts. The grievor has considerable total service with the company, although he has relatively short seniority; due to a break in service. In early May, 1981, the grievor, a Car inspector, while walking towards the west end of the North Bay Yard to be in position to perform a pull-by inspection on a train, noticed some rolls of copper wire lying in the grass about two feet from a telegraph pole. After performing the inspection, the grievor got his truck, came to the location where he had noted the rolls of wire, put them in his truck and then returned to his work.
In his investigation, the grievor stated that he "was thinking it was just scrap material laying on the ground" and "was not thinking of it being company material" It was, in fact, company property, on company premises, in a location where it could be used or recovered. In my view, it must have been obvious that it was company property. It must also have been obvious that it was not "scrap" – in the sense at least that it had substantial value. The grievor later sold the wire to a scrap dealer for a sum in excess of one hundred dollars.
There can be no doubt that what occurred was a deliberate act of taking company property from company premises and selling it, for the grievor’s own gain. It cannot be described as a spur-of-the-moment action. It is true that the grievor did plead guilty to the offence in Court (he was given an absolute discharge, although found guilty), and that he explained the matter frankly (although there was really no alternative), at his investigation. Nevertheless it remains that the grievor did commit a deliberate act of theft of the company’s property, and that he sold that property for his own benefit after holding it for some months.
Discharge is, in general, an appropriate penalty where an employee steals his employer’s property. This is not a case whose circumstances bring it within the special class of exceptions to that rule. In my view, there was just cause for discharge in the circumstances of this case. The grievance must accordingly be dismissed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 5th day of April, 1982.
(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill