IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
Canadian Pacific Limited
CANADIAN DIVISION BROTHERHOOD RAILWAY CARMEN OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
AND IN THE MATTER OF GRIEVANCE OF G. R. STANKEVICH
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
There appeared on behalf of the Brotherhood:
P. E. Perreault
And on behalf of the Company:
D. J. David
F. R. Shreenan
A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on May 22, 1985.
The Joint Statement of Fact and Issue in this matter is as follows:
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT:
Carman G.R. Stankevich, Employee No. 523204, Port Coquitlam, was dismissed from the service of C.P. Rail, on August 24, 1984, for unauthorized use of a Company vehicle for personal reasons; driving without due care and attention; operating a Company vehicle without a valid driverís license; absenting himself from duty during prescribed working hours without permission; resulting in damage to Company vehicle; violation Items 6(a) and 6(d), Safety and Accident Prevention Code, Vancouver Division, on August 4, 1984.
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT:
It is the Unionís position that Mr. Stankevich was unjustly treated and that he should be reinstated with all rights and benefits as provided in the Collective Agreement and that he be reimbursed for lost wages.
The Company denies the claim.
From the material before me it is clear that the grievor, an employee of some five yearsí service, did in fact commit all of the offences referred to. It may be noted, however, that the violations of the Safety and Accident Prevention Code which are referred to are really duplications of offences earlier described, namely driving a vehicle without a valid licence, and not operating the vehicle in a safe manner.
On August 4, 1984, the grievor and another employee were assigned to take two company vehicles from Coquitlam to Vancouver, and carry out certain duties there, then to leave one vehicle at Vancouver and return to Coquitlam in the other. Those duties were performed, but on the return trip the grievor, who was driving while the other employee slept, went past the companyís shop at Coquitlam and proceeded on to his own home (a distance, it appears, of some twenty miles), in order to get a second set of keys for his car. He did not have authorization to go on this personal business, and while he stated that he "assumed" he had permission (the matter had been discussed), it is clear from all the evidence that there was no reasonable basis for such an assumption. In the circumstances, there was cause for the imposition of discipline on the grounds that the grievor used a company vehicle for personal reasons without authorization, and that he absented himself from duty during prescribed working hours without permission.
On the return trip from his home to Coquitlam, the grievor fell asleep at the wheel. The vehicle crossed the median and two other lanes of traffic and came to rest in a ditch. Substantial damage was caused to the vehicle. It may be noted that the grievor left the scene of the accident, and when questioned about the matter falsely stated both to the company and to the police that the other employee had been driving at the time of the accident. There is no doubt that the grievor was driving without due care and attention; he was subsequently convicted and fined for careless driving. This head of discipline is likewise established.
The grievor operated the company vehicle without a valid driverís licence. His licence had been suspended in 1982. It appears that the grievor had, in casual conversations, informed some of the supervisors of that fact. On the day in question, however, he had driven to work in his car (whose keys had been locked inside it), and he said nothing when his assignment was given to him to indicate he could not lawfully carry it out. Even if the company had knowingly made an unlawful assignment (and I do not conclude that it did), it would have been wrong for the grievor to have accepted it. On this ground too, therefore, the grievor was liable to discipline.
The facts of this case are in some respects analogous to those of the Fensom case (22 June 1984), involving the same parties, the grievor in the instant case apparently being guilty of even more offences. An offence of such order is, as was said in that case, generally just cause for discharge. In my view, the imposition of that penalty in the instant case did not go beyond the range of reasonable disciplinary reactions to the situation. There was, I find, just cause for the discharge of the grievor. The grievance is accordingly dismissed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 10th day of June, 1985.
(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill