SHP 231




(the "Company")



(the "Union")



SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill



S. A. Horodyski




S. A. MacDougald



APPEARING FOR THE Canadian Council of Railway Shopcraft Employees and Allied Workers:

A. Rosner


A hearing in this matter was held at Montreal on December 9, 1987.




The Dispute and Joint Statement in this matter are as follows:


Alleged violation of Rule 58.2 of Agreement 12.1 when the Company did not assign the work of manufacturing and assembling pulley guard covers to the Carmen’s craft at the Transcona Main Shops during February 1985.


In May 1984 the manufacturing of 130 scaffold pulley guard covers at the Transcona Main Shops was performed by Carmen. This was new work which had never been performed before.

The Sheet Metal Workers International Union subsequently filed a grievance alleging that the work should have been assigned to members of their craft at the Transcona Main Shops. Without the knowledge of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen the grievance was then resolved with the understanding that future work of this nature would be assigned to Sheet Metal Workers.

In February 1985, a further 156 pulley guards were required at the Transcona Main Shops. The work was assigned to the Sheet Metal Workers’ craft by the Company in accordance with the terms of the grievance settlement previously reached by that Union and the Company.

The Brotherhood of Railway Carmen contends that the Company violated Rule 58.2 of Agreement 12.1 by failing to recognize the work as Carmen’s work. The Brotherhood requests that the manufacturing of pulley guard covers be recognized as Carmen’s work and that payment of 156 hours wages, or the wages for equivalent hours worked by Sheet Metal Workers on this project, be paid to Carmen at the Transcona Main Shops who have not been identified by the Brotherhood.

The Company denies the alleged violation and has declined payment of this claim.


The work in question, the manufacture of pulley guard covers, did not involve the manufacture of a standard part, and was performed for the purpose of a specific application, one unlikely to be repeated in the foreseeable future. The work involved the cutting, (by Carmen), on a flame cutter, of 1/8 inch (10 gauge) black iron, and the assembly (by Sheet Metal Workers), of pulley guard covers for installation (by Bridges and Building employees, represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees), on certain scaffolds, affixed to the floor of the Car Shop at Transcona. These are scaffolds on which Carmen and other tradesmen work.

Similar work had, as noted in the Joint Statement, been performed in 1984, when pulley guard covers had been manufactured for scaffolds in the Coach Paint Shop at Transcona. On that occasion, Carmen had performed both the cutting and assembly operations. In the instant case, the cutting was again done by Carmen, but the assembly of the pulley guard covers was done by Sheet Metal Workers. It is the latter assignment which is complained of in this case.

The provisions of Agreement 12.1 apply both to Carmen and to Sheet Metal Workers as well as to other trades. Rule 56 sets out the Special Rules applying to the Sheet Metal Workers’ and Pipefitters’ craft, and Rule 58 sets out the Carmen’s Craft Special Rules.

Rule 56.2 is as follows:

56.2 Sheet metal workers’ work shall consist of silversmithing, tinning, coppersmithing, metal spray gun work in shops, yards, buildings, on passenger coaches, motor coaches and engines of all kinds including tenders; lead burning; babbitting (not scrap reclaimer); the building, erecting, assembling, installing, dismantling (for repairs only); and maintaining parts made of sheet copper, brass, tine, zinc, white metal, lead, black, planished, pickled and galvanized iron, sheet aluminum, of 10 gauge and lighter (present practice between sheet metal workers and boilermakers to continue relative to gauge of iron), including brazing, soldering, tinning, leading and babbitting (except car and tender truck journal bearings), the operation of babbitt fires (in connection with sheet metal workers’ work); oxy-acetylene and electric welding on work generally recognized as sheet metal workers’ work.

The work in question in this case would appear to come within the scope of that provision as being the assembly of parts made of 10 gauge black iron. While Rule 56.2 would not appear to give sheet metal workers an exclusive right to such work, its assignment to them would appear to be consistent with the provisions of Rule 56.2.

The claim of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen is based on Rule 58.2 of the collective agreement, which sets out Carmen’s work, as follows:

58.2 Carmen’s work shall consist of building, maintaining, dismantling (except all-wood freight train cars), painting, upholstering, tile setting, glass cutting, bevelling, embossing and inspecting all passenger and freight cars, both wood and steel, motor coaches; planing mill, cabinet and bench carpenter work, pattern and flask making and all other carpenter work in shops and yards; carmen’s work in building and repairing motor cars, lever cars, hand cars and station trucks; building, repairing and removing and applying locomotive cabs, pilots, pilot beams, running boards, foot and headlight boards, tender frames and trucks in main and back shops, and wood wagon wheels, hose bag fitter, and stove fitter, pipe and inspection work in connection with air brake equipment on freight cars, repairing and assembling car and coach triple valves, applying patented metal roofing; operating punches and shears, doing shaping and forming; work done with hand forges and heating torches in connection with carmen’s work; painting, varnishing, surfacing, decorating, lettering; cutting of stencils and removing paint, (not including use of sand blast machines or removing vats); all other work generally recognized as painter’s work under the supervision of the Locomotive and Car Departments, except the application of blacking to fire and smoke boxes of locomotives in engine houses; joint car inspectors, car inspectors, safety appliances and train car repairers, on track auxiliary and by-rail wrecking crane operator, oxy-acetylene and electric welding on work generally recognized as carmen’s work; and all other work generally recognized as carmen’s work.

It is understood that the present practice in the performance of work between the carmen and boilermakers will continue.

In its initial reply to the grievance, the company referred to the settlement of a grievance which had been filed by the Sheet Metal Workers Union in respect of the previous performance of such work, in 1984. At that time, as has been noted, Carmen cut the material with the flame cutter, and then assembled the pulley guards. In settlement of the Sheet Metal Workers’ grievance, the company, noting that the pulley guards "come within the sheet metal gauge", undertook to assign future manufacturing of pulley guards in the Car Shop to the Sheet Metal craft.

The Brotherhood of Railway Carmen was not a party to the settlement of the grievance with respect to the 1984 assignment, and is not bound by it. The basis of the settlement, however – that, in effect, the work comes within the scope of Rule 56.2 – would properly be considered by the company in making future assignments of such work. Thus, while the settlement of the previous grievance is to be disregarded as far as the instant case is concerned, the provisions of the collective agreement of course are not.

The gauge of metal worked on is a distinguishing feature of the work of some crafts – boilermakers and sheet metal workers, for instance – but it is not a distinguishing feature of the work of carmen. Thus, the fact that the metal worked on was "of sheet metal gauge", while indicative of the work’s coming within the scope of Rule 56.2, does not show that it is excluded from the scope of Rule 58.2.

It was the Brotherhood’s contention that the work is of a sort generally recognized as being Carmen’s work. The fact that it was assigned to Carmen in 1984 is not decisive. That assignment was made the subject of a grievance by the Sheet Metal Workers, and was, until the present case, the only assignment of that particular work to have been made. It does not establish a practice, and did not involve any general recognition.

It is, however, the Brotherhood’s contention, and it is not denied, that Carmen have been assigned to build and maintain scaffolds at a number of locations, including the Transcona Car Shops, and that they have also constructed portable scaffolds when necessary. That such work is within the contemplation of Rule 58 appears clear from Rule 58.4(a) which sets out the work of Carman Helpers, and includes the following:

Rule 58.2 makes many references to work on rolling stock, but Carmen’s work is not strictly restricted to that. The Rule sets out a wide range of work which may be performed by Carmen, and in some cases at least it is clear that the work may be performed not just on rolling stock, but within a broad general area. There is, for example, reference to pattern and flask making and "all other carpenter work in shops and yards". There is, later, reference to "all other work generally recognized as painter’s work under the supervision of the Locomotive and Car Departments". With respect to broad provisions of this sort, it is necessary to keep in mind the context of the work assignment, and the distinctions between the undertakings of the Locomotive and Car Department and those of Bridges and Building or other departments. What is said in CROA Case No. 1310 (Kates), may go too far, where it is stated that "Article 58.2 of the Shopcraft Agreement [Agreement 12.11], to the extent that Carmen’s work is defined, restricts painting … to work performed on rolling stock."

In the instant case, the question dealt with in CROA Case No 1310 does not arise. Here, the work was assigned to members of a shopcraft union and was, apparently, within the general jurisdiction of the Car Department, although the installation of the pulley guards, it will be remembered, was done by employees of the Bridges and Building Department.

While the construction of scaffolds in shops may generally be work performed by Carmen, the particular assembly in question, a pulley guard, was not necessarily related to scaffolding as such, and was in any event a part not previously made. The actual assembly operation would appear to have involved skills which both Carmen and Sheet Metal Workers have. Both crafts perform work relating to cars (Carmen performing a much wider range of tasks), and both might be expected to perform proper work necessarily incidental thereto. In my view, the particular work in question, which certainly came within the scope of Rule 56.2, may also be considered as falling within the scope of Rule 58.2, and the two crafts (to say nothing of any others which might assert a claim!) might each be considered as appropriate to be assigned to it. This work was not essentially "Carmen’s work", as are the tasks specifically referred to in Rule 58.2, but was rather incidental to shop operations generally.

In the result, then, it is my conclusion that while it would not appear to have been a violation of the collective agreement to assign the work to Carmen in 1984, that assignment did not result in any "general recognition" that the work was exclusively that of Carmen, nor has any general practice been shown to that effect, it has not been shown on the other hand that assignment of the work to Sheet Metal Workers was in violation of the agreement.

Accordingly, while I consider that the work in question might properly have been assigned to Carmen, I do not consider that the collective agreement imposes any obligation on the company to make such assignment, at least not in preference to the assignment of work to Sheet Metal Workers. There has, I find, been no violation of the collective agreement in the circumstances, and the grievance must accordingly be dismissed.

DATED AT TORONTO, this 5th day of January, 1988.

(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill,