SHP 160



Canadian Pacific Limited

(the "Company")



(the "Union")


SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill



There appeared on behalf of the Union:

A. Rosner

P. E. Perreault, and others



And on behalf of the Company:

D. J. David

C.T. Thibault and others



A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on August 14, 1984.




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


On November 15, 1982, 93 carmen were laid off at Angus Shops, Montreal. On December 6, 1982, Carman J.P. Lauzon was recalled to fill the position of Carman-Painter on the afternoon shifts.


It is the position of the Union that the Company has violated Rules 23.22 and 23.29 of Wage Agreement, when the senior employee, in these circumstances, Mr. M. Brazeau, employee No. 204261, was not recalled to fill the supplementary position as Carman-Painter.

It is also the Union’s position that Mr. Brazeau should be compensated for all time lost.

At the hearing of this matter, it was pointed out by the union that the position in question was correctly described as "Carman assigned on paint duty", and not as "Carman-Painter", there being no such classification. It was also pointed out that some 169 Carmen had been laid off at the time referred to. The figure 93 is significant in that it appears there were some 93 Carmen senior to Mr. Lauzon who remained on layoff when he was recalled for the work in question. Among these senior employees was the grievor. The validity of the layoff itself is not in issue in this case. What is in issue is whether or not the grievor ought to have been recalled to perform the work for which Mr. Lauzon was recalled.

It had at first been the company’s intention to have the work in question – locomotive painting – performed by an employee who had not been laid off, so that no recall would be necessary. The work was to be performed on the afternoon shift, however, and the employee to whom the work would have been assigned, who worked on the day shift, refused transfer to the afternoon shift. The company then decided to increase its forces to the extent necessary, and to recall someone to perform the work required on the afternoon shift. It was the company’s view that Mr. Lauzon was the senior employee on layoff who was qualified to perform the work in question.

The matter of qualifications is in issue only as a matter of argument as to the effect of articles 58 or 23.9. These articles refer to persons entitled to be shown on the permanent Carmen’s Craft seniority list as "fully qualified Carmen", and to those who have successfully completed their apprenticeship as "fully qualified mechanics". While there appears to be no doubt as to the grievor’s journeyman status, and no doubt that Carmen generally perform a wide range of tasks, it has not been shown that the grievor was in fact qualified to perform the particular painting tasks which were required to be performed at the time in question. The company would appear to have considered employees’ qualifications in order of the employees’ seniority, and nothing in the material before me suggests that the company’s determination with respect to the qualifications of the grievor was wrong.

The claim which has been put in issue is that articles 23.22 and 23.29 of the collective agreement have been violated. Article 23.22 is as follows:

23.22 In the restoration of forces, employees laid off shall be given preference of re-employment in seniority order. A laid-off employee shall be notified by registered mail at his last known address and he shall be returned to his former classification. Local Committees shall be furnished with a list of men to be restored to service.

Article 23.29 is as follows:

23.29 An employee claiming a position in the exercise of seniority, who in the judgment of the Company cannot reasonably be expected to qualify to perform the duties required within a period of 30 calendar days or less, shall not be denied such position by Management without prior consultation with the local representative of the craft concerned.

An employee exercising seniority, who, in the judgment of the Company can reasonably be expected to qualify for the position claimed, shall be allowed a trial period which shall not exceed 30 calendar days, except that by mutual agreement between the General Chairman and the proper officer of the Company, such period may be extended up to 90 calendar days, in order to demonstrate his ability to perform the work required.

Should an employee be denied a position being claimed in the exercise of seniority, or should he fail to qualify during a trial period, he and his authorized representative will be entitled to receive an explanation in writing from the proper officer of the Company, including the reason for the decision rendered, which shall be subject to appeal in accordance with the grievance procedure.

Where an employee is disqualified from holding a position at any time during the specified trial period, such employee will be returned to his former position. This will not necessitate additional bulletins.

This case having been presented in part in French and in part in English, it is appropriate now to continue in the other official language.

Dans le cas en instance, l’argument du syndicat fut fondé sur une lecture très littérale des termes de l’article 23.22. Selon cet argument, lors d’un rappel au travail, les employés auraient chacun droit à un poste – n’importe quel poste – et cela dans le strict ordre de l’ancienneté. Une fois les employés rappelés au travail, qu’il incomberait à la compagnie, toujours selon cet argument, d’organiser son personnel pour que le travail soit effectué.

à mon avis, cet argument n’est pas appuyé par les termes de la convention collective. Au contraire, il ressort clairement des termes de la convention collective, quand cette dernière est lue dans son ensemble, que les employés n’ont pas droit aux postes pour lesquels la compétence nécessaire leur manquent. Ce qui plus est, il me semble clair que le plaignant, dans le cas présent, essaie d’exercer ses droits d’ancienneté et de réclamer le poste donné a M. Lauzon, et que par ce fait même il est lié par les termes de l’article 23.29, exigeant la compétence.

Il est à noter que même si le plaignant avait été rappelé au travail strictement selon son rang dans la liste d’ancienneté, ce ne serait que pour être remis à pied, faute de compétence pour le travail de M. Lauzon, et faute d’ancienneté vis-à-vis les autres employés.

Je ne traite pas ici de la question du droit à une période d’essai qu’aurait peut-être un employé, dans d’autres circonstances, telle que prévue par l’article 23.29, car dans le cas en instance il ne s’agit que d’un poste temporaire qui ne durerait pas, semble-t-il, la durée de la période d’essai. Vu la nature du poste, et le manque de compétence du plaignant, il m’est évident que ce grief ne peut pas être reçu, étant donné les termes de la convention collective.

Pour tous ces motifs, le grief doit être rejeté.

DATED AT TORONTO, this 6th day of September, 1984.

(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill