SHP Ė 180




(the "Company")



(The "Union")




SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill



There appeared on behalf of the Company:

F. R. Shreenan

D. J. David

R. A. Colquhoun


And on behalf of the Union:

P. E. Perreault



A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on June 10, 1985.




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


Carman Trainee G.F. McQuaid, employee No. 532413, working at Alyth Yard, C.P. Rail Car Department, was dismissed from the service on October 13, 1984, for "Consuming intoxicants during regular assigned hours; reporting late for duty, and being under the influence of intoxicants while on duty" on September 15, 1984.


It is the Unionís position that the discipline assessed to Mr. McQuaid is much too severe and we feel that he should be reinstated with all his rights and privileges and that he should be compensated for all time lost.

The Company denies the claim.

There is no very substantial dispute as to the facts. The grievor, who had been hired as a labourer on June 22, 1980, had been promoted to coach cleaner, to carman helper, and then on September 11, 1981, to carman trainee. His regular assignment was 1600 - 2400, Saturday to Wednesday, with Thursdays and Fridays off. On Saturday, September 15, 1984, the grievor was scheduled to report for duty at 1600.

The grievor did not report for duty as scheduled, but reported one hour late, along with two other employees, with whom he had gone for something to eat and drink before reporting to work. It would seem that the grievor was late leaving for work because he was working on his truck. In his statement, however, the grievor gives as the main reason for his lateness that he was talking with others.

After the grievor arrived at work and had punched in, he was met in the locker room by the car foreman who, smelling an odour of breath freshener, asked if he had been drinking. The grievor replied that he had not, and that he was late because of problems with his car. The car foreman then left, and the grievor proceeded to change and to go to his work. Shortly after that, the car foreman met the two other employees who had been with the grievor. Smelling an odour of alcohol on their breath, the car foreman asked the two employees if they had been drinking, and they replied that they had. They were then sent home, and they accepted that without objection. No further penalty was imposed on them.

The car foreman then returned to the locker room, and asked the grievor again if he had been drinking. The grievor denied that he had. Shortly after that, the car foreman observed the grievor moving on the shop floor, and considered that his gait was unsteady. He then noticed the grievor attempting to dismantle a defective coupling mechanism while sitting directly underneath the part being freed. A fellow employee also noticed the way in which the grievor was working - it was clearly unsafe - and went and spoke to him about it. Shortly thereafter, the car foreman and the assistant car foreman went to the grievor and again enquired whether he had been drinking. The grievor replied that he had had some wine with his meal. The grievor was then removed from service.

Statements were taken from the grievor on two occasion, once on September 17, and again on October 3. The unsatisfactory nature of the grievorís replies with respect to his drinking justified the taking of a second statement in this case, so that the investigation was not concluded for the purposes of article 20 of the collective agreement until the latter date. The companyís decision on the matter was given within 28 days of that time, and accordingly was in compliance with the requirements of article 28.

It is clear that the grievor was drinking immediately before reporting to work, and at a time when he should have been at work, that is, during working hours. From what finally became clear, the grievor consumed some twenty ounces of wine (two draft beer glasses) at that time. The grievor wrongly denied what he had done, and appears to have given a full account of himself only after considerable delay. From all of the material before me, and considering the grievorís demeanour and manner of working on the day in question, I find that the grievor, who had admittedly consumed intoxicants during working hours and had reported late for work, was under the influence of intoxicants to a significant degree while on duty.

This is a serious offence, although as some cases have indicated, for a first offence, it light not necessarily be held that it constituted just cause for discharge in the case of an employee working in the shops. In the instant case, however, the grievor twice falsely denied that he had been drinking, and then proceeded to the shop floor where he began to perform his work in an unsafe and very dangerous manner. Further, this was not his first offence of this nature. On August 4, not much more than a month before the present incident, the grievor did not report to work because of drinking. He called to say that he would be late, but did not call again and did not report for work. The grievor was assessed ten demerits on that occasion.

Having regard to all of the circumstances, it is my view that there was just cause for discharge in this case. The grievance is accordingly dismissed.


DATED AT TORONTO, this 9th day of July, 1985.


(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill