SHP 155



Canadian Pacific Limited

(the "Company")



(the "Union")


SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill



There appeared on behalf of the Union:

J. W. Asprey

D. Bratko



And on behalf of the Company:

D. J. David

J. H. Blotsky and others



A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on April 9, 1984.




The Joint Statement of Fact and Issue in this matter is as follows:


On July 19, 1983, Mr. R. Dubois, Labourer, St. Luc Diesel Shops was assessed the following discipline:

Discipline: Cause:

20 demerit marks Delaying locomotive movement when requested and being found asleep during working hours on June 27, 1983

Record closed Accumulation of demerit marks in excess of 60.

Prior to this assessment, Mr. Duboisí discipline record stood at 55 demerit marks.

The grievor, an Engine Attendant at the companyís Cote St. Luc Shops, had some six yearsí service at the time of the incident in question. His tour of duty was 2330 to 0730. At about 0530 he was seated in Locomotive 4570. He received a radio message from the Production Coordinator asking him to join the Diesel Inspector at Locomotive 4718, on track 8 in front of the shop. The grievor acknowledges that he was advised that the Diesel Inspector was waiting for him.

In fact the grievor then did nothing to comply with the Production Co-ordinatorís request. He remained in the cab and, as he acknowledges, went to sleep. At about 0540 the Assistant Manager, who had heard the instructions given the grievor by radio, went to Locomotive 4570, observed the grievor sleeping, and spoke to him, telling him to go to Locomotive 4718, as instructed. The grievor indicated he would do so, and left the cab.

The grievor did not, however, go immediately to Locomotive 4718. Rather, he went for coffee. While. it may be understandable that the grievor would want a coffee to wake him up after he had dosed off, he did not request permission to do so, nor did he give any indication that he proposed to take time for coffee. He stated that his coffee break only took two or three minutes, but the grievor nevertheless took his time about it: he did not arrive at Locomotive 4718 until 0605. Asked to explain what he did during that, time, he replied, "Jíai parlé un peu avec mon aide et jíai pris un café et je níai pas vu le temps passer".

The grievor stated that he "did not think the movement was so important", although he had been told in the first place that the Production Coordinator was waiting for him, and had been reminded of his duty by the Assistant Manager when the latter woke him up at 0540. The grievor simply did not take his work seriously, even when reminded that he should get on with it.

There is no doubt that the grievorís conduct was improper, and that he was subject to discipline for it. There may be cases where an employee dozes off, while waiting to make a move: In some such cases, the circumstances might point to a relatively minor penalty.

Here, however, the grievor dozed off immediately upon being given instructions which it was apparent were meant to be carried out then. When woken up, he did not proceed to his work but went for an extended coffee break and chat. For that sort of conduct more severe discipline was appropriate, and in my view the assessment of twenty demerits did not go beyond the range of reasonable disciplinary responses to the situation.

The assessment of twenty demerits was, as I find, proper. The result is that as the grievorís disciplinary record stood at fifty-five demerits, he became subject to discharge. There are no particular considerations in the instant case which might suggest that the penalty for the most recent incident should be altered to avoid that effect.

For the foregoing reasons, the grievance is dismissed.

DATED AT TORONTO, this 7th day of May, 1984.

(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill