IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
Canadian National Railway Company
Canadian Council of Railway Shopcraft Employees and Allied Workers
IN THE MATTER OF THE GRIEVANCE OF B. CARDINAL
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
J. A. Cameron
J. R. Hnatiuk
And on behalf of the Union:
J. W. Asprey
A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on April 27, 1982.
The Dispute and Joint Statement of Issue in this matter are as follows:
Dismissal of Electrician B. Cardinal, Taschereau Yard, Montreal.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
On November 13, 1981, Electrician B. Cardinal was discharged for having material belonging to the Company in his possession on October 27 and 28, 1981.
The Union contends that the discipline assessed is too severe and has requested a reduction of the discipline from dismissal to suspension.
The Company maintains that the discipline was not too severe.
It is acknowledged that the grievor did have material belonging to the company in his possession on the dates in question. He had no authorization to have such material, and it is clear that it was stolen.
The grievor had some nine yearsí service, and a clear record. Having regard to all of the circumstances, however, this is not a case coming within the relatively narrow set of exceptions to the general rule that discharge is appropriate in cases of theft. The grievor did not deal frankly with the company, giving a false story about his "purchase" of items found in his car which he had in fact stolen, and falsely denying that he had any of the companyís property at his home, when the execution of a search warrant revealed that he in fact did have company property there, to a value of over two hundred dollars.
The grievorís subsequent contrition was, in my view, simply that of a man who has been caught. The grievor was not honest about what he had done, and had lied to avoid being caught.
It was argued that the grievorís General Foreman was out to get him because of a complaint against the company with respect to pollution which the grievor had filed with the federal authorities in early September. While it may well be, as the union contends, that that did not endear the grievor to the General Foreman, it does not alter the facts with respect to the grievorís theft, and his attempts to hide it. It does not appear that the grievor was treated differently than other employees who commit theft, and who do not come within the exception to the general rule supporting discharge. The decision to discharge, it may be noted, is taken at a higher level than that of General Foreman.
In the circumstances of this case there was, I find, just cause for discharge, and the grievance is accordingly dismissed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 18th day of May, 1982.
(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill