IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
Canadian Pacific Limited
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS
GRIEVANCE RELATING TO INTEGRATED WORK ASSIGNMENTS
SOLE ARBITRATOR: J. F. W. Weatherill
APPEARING FOR THE UNION:
APPEARING FOR THE COMPANY:
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on February 22, 1989.
The Joint Statement of Fact and Issue in this matter is as follows:
A claim by the Company that 17 work assignments constitute integrated work assignments pursuant to the Incidental Work Rule contained in Appendix XIV of the Wage Agreement No. 52.3
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT:
Following the signing of the Master Agreement dated August 24, 1988, the Company met jointly with the traditional shopcraft Unions to review the list of 67 integrated work assignments which it had forwarded to the Unions on May 24, 1988. Discussions took place pursuant to Item 5 of Appendix XIV of Wage Agreement No. 52.3. Within 30 days of the first meeting, all items had been successfully concluded, with the exception of the incidental work presently performed by the electrician's craft in the following 17 integrated work assignments (numbered as per the original listing):
1 Fuel, Turbo or Lube Oil Transfer Pump Assembly Changeout
5 Traction Motor Blower Motor Changeout
7 Main Reservoir Sarco Valve Changeout
8 Heated Glass Changeout
10 Changeout Eddy Current Clutch
12 Air Flow Meter Changeout
16 Changeout Auxiliary/Exciter Generators
17 Crankcase Exhauster Motor Changeout
19 Dynamic Brake Blower Motor
20 Auxiliary Generator Changeout (GM)
24 Operation of Radio and Pendant-Controlled Cranes
27 Change Cab Heater
29 Change Air Brake LUM Rack
38 Change Slip Rings on Alternator
53 Caboose Engine Change
59 Trackmobile 100 Hour Inspection
63 Welding of Components
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
The Company contends that the above-mentioned items constitute integrated work assignments pursuant to the Incidental Work Rule.
The Union denies the Company's contention in each case, and requests that the status quo be maintained. The Union further contends that the Company has failed to satisfy criteria (i) and (iii) of paragraph 7 with respect to all of the disputed assignments except no. 24 and criterion (iv) with respect to the disputed assignments involving locomotive work, when they are performed in a normal main shop situation. In the latter case, it is contended that the work in question actually forms part of a larger overall integrated work assignment than that indicated by the Company. Finally, the Union maintains that Item 24 (Overhead Cranes) ought not to be dealt with at this hearing, inasmuch as several grievances involving jurisdiction in this precise area have been pending arbitration for some years.
I shall deal first with the procedural point raised by the union, concerning Item 24 (Overhead Cranes). While it may be that there are a number of grievances outstanding with respect to the assignment of such work, I do not consider that the determination of the issue before me necessarily affects the outcome of any other arbitration; indeed, it does not appear that any of the cases referred to is in fact now before an arbitrator. In any event, the issues in those cases would appear to relate to the general question of assignment to positions of Crane Operator and to the interpretation of Rule 52 (Electrical Workers' Craft Special Rules) of the collective agreement. The issue in this case is whether or not, even if the operation of an overhead crane be considered Electrician's work as a general matter, it is proper, under the Incidental Work Rule, which is in issue here, for some other employee to make use of such cranes for some purpose incidental to the accomplishment of their own main task. That question, I find, is properly before me in the instant case.
The Incidental Work Rule under which this case arises is set out in Appendix XIV of the collective agreement, and is as follows:
1. The purpose of this Appendix is to provide for a procedure whereby, under certain circumstances, work pertaining to one craft, as per the Special Craft Rules, may be performed by another craft.
2. Except as is permitted by this rule, work will be performed by employees in the craft to which such work is now assigned. Notwithstanding any other rules to the contrary, in order to efficiently complete an integrated work assignment involving the work of two or more crafts, a tradesman in one craft may be required to do the work of another craft for short periods of time, provided that the tradesman is qualified to perform the work. Where that work is normally performed with a helper, the helper, likewise, may be required to do the work of the helper of the other craft. The work that may be required to be done under this Clause shall include the operation of any equipment or machinery necessary for the completion of the integrated work assignment.
3. The maximum period of time that an employee in one craft may be assigned to do the work of another under paragraph 2 shall be limited to thirty (30) minutes in respect of any one such integrated work assignment.
4. No employee shall be laid off as a direct result of the application of this incidental work rule. (See Annex 1)
5. [Sets out the procedure which has led to the instant case]
6. [Sets out the time for implementation]
7. In determining whether or not an integrated work assignment falls within the scope of this rule the arbitrator will be bound by the following:
ii) In time limit of 30 minutes of incidental work per craft per integrated work assignment.
iii) That the employee assigned to the integrated work assignment is qualified to perform the incidental work. (See Annex 2)
iv) That the change in procedure is necessary in order to efficiently complete the integrated work assignment.
8. [Sets out procedure with respect to future proposed integrated assignments]
I agree with the union's position that the onus in a case such as this is on the company to show that with respect to each proposed integrated assignment the criteria set out in clause 7 of Appendix XIV are satisfied.
As to the first such criterion, safety, I shall deal with that matter on a case-by-case basis with respect to each of the proposed assignments.
As to the second criterion, the 30-minute time limit, that criterion is satisfied, or apparently satisfied, in each of the cases before me. In the case of proposal no. 24, it would appear that the time involved in the operation of overhead cranes would vary with the task far which the crane is being used. To determine, as a general matter, that crane operation may form part of an integrated work assignment given to a member of some other craft than that of Electrician is, of course, not to sanction the performance of such work beyond the period referred to in Appendix XIV. Further, with respect to all the other proposals, it is to be noted that the "incidental" electrical work which it may be found proper for other crafts to perform may not exceed 30 minutes in respect of the total electrical work (for instance, disconnecting and reconnecting) related to any one assignment.
As to the third criterion, it was the union's position that no one but an Electrician could be considered qualified to perform the disconnecting and reconnecting tasks involved in the cases (excepting the overhead cranes case) before me. While I agree with the union that there are significant distinctions to be drawn between the electrical craft and the "metal trades" as a group, in terms particularly of the theoretical background and understanding required, I do not agree that one must have such a degree of knowledge and understanding (that is, that one must, in effect, be an Electrician) in order to be "qualified" within the meaning of Appendix XIV to perform the tasks in question here. Indeed, I think that would be contradictory of clause 2 of Appendix XIV, which contemplates that a tradesman in one craft may do the work of another craft. This question is, of course, related to that of safety, and it may be that in considering the particular proposed assignments from that aspect, it will be found that safety calls for the assignment of a fully-qualified Electrician.
As a general matter, however, I consider that tradesmen in other crafts, and in particular, as far as most of the present cases are concerned, Machinists, are qualified to perform the tasks in question here which involve, essentially, the disconnecting and reconnecting of the components on which they will then work in the exercise of their own craft. This is not to say that anyone, or even any craftsman, would be qualified to do any work of that sort: such is certainly not the case. The only conclusion here drawn is that Machinists working on railway equipment are, in general, "qualified" within the meaning of Appendix XIV to disconnect and reconnect the components on which they will work, at least in cases such as those now before me. The same conclusion holds in respect of Carmen, Sheet Metal Workers or other tradesmen who may be involved in the tasks here in issue.
Other tradesmen are nut entitled to be trained, nor the company entitled to train them to perform the tasks in issue here. It may be, however, that familiarization is appropriate in some cases (if more than that is required, I should consider that to be strong evidence that the person involved was not qualified). In Annex 2 to Appendix XIV the company has undertaken to provide only "sufficient instruction to familiarize the employee with the specific incidental work as required according to the Rule".
As to the fourth criterion, I am satisfied in each case, on the material before me, that the change in procedure proposed is necessary to the efficient completion of the work assignments. It remains, then, to consider each proposed assignment in terms of safety.
1. (Proposal No. 1) Fuel, Turbo or Lube Oil Transfer Pump Assembly Changeout
In the cases of the fuel pump and the turbo pump changeout, present procedure calls for an Electrician to disconnect two wires, having first ensured there is no power in the circuit. When the Machinist's work has been done, the Electrician then reconnects the wires, which cannot be improperly reconnected. To pull the battery switch or circuit breaker, so as to ensure there is no power in the circuit is not, in my view, a task exclusive to Electricians, and may properly be performed by a Machinist or other craftsman in the shops. Inspection of the condition of the wire is not a part of the Machinist's task. To disconnect and reconnect the wires involved here are simple tasks and I am satisfied may be performed safely by other craftsmen than Electricians.
The case of the lube oil transfer pump is somewhat more complex, in that a Machinist first disconnects two pipes, removes base bolts and rotates the pump assembly so as to give the Electrician access to the junction box. As in the other cases, the Electrician simply disconnects two wires, and reconnects them after the Machinist's work is done. In the great majority of cases, there are only two wires, which cannot be incorrectly connected. In a few cases, there are six wires – three sets – which are marked, and in the company's submission there is no risk if they are incorrectly connected. That is not to say that if a Machinist, performing the task, were to find the wires not marked he might not properly consider that an Electrician should be called. Subject to particular anomalies which might occur in any situation, it is my view that this task, like the others, may safely be performed by Machinists, as incidental to the work they are assigned to do on these pumps.
2. (Proposal No. 5) Traction Motor Blowout Motor Changeout
The electrical work involved is essentially similar to that in the first case. Here, however, three marked wires are involved. In the event of improper reconnection, it appears that safety is not compromised. The connections involved are simple ones. Again (and this will be true throughout), subject to the appearance of anomalies in particular situations, this task may safely be performed by Machinists.
3. (Proposal No. 7) Main Reservoir Sarco Valve Changeout
The electrical work involved here is the disconnection and reconnection of two wires having a very simple push-pull connection. That the work may be done safely by a Machinist (or, as at Angus Shops, by a Pipefitter) is, in this case, even clearer, I think, than in the preceding cases.
4. (Proposal No. 8) Heated Glass Changeout
This task is of a very elementary nature, involving pulling wires out of an element block and pushing them back in. In my view, it is quite safe for a Carman or other tradesman to perform this task as incidental to his proper craft work.
5. (Proposal No. 10) Changeout Eddy Current Clutch
Here again, a very simple method of connection, there being no incorrect method of connection, is involved. It is, I find, safe for a Machinist to perform this task.
6. (Proposal No. 12) Air Flow Meter Changeout
The simple connection of two wires is all that is required, and I find that the task is one which it would be safe for a Machinist to perform.
7. (Proposal No. 16) Changeout Auxiliary/Exciter Generators
In this case, the company's original proposal was that the Machinist both disconnect and reconnect the three or four wires involved, which must be marked when disconnected. It is not suggested in this case that improper connections may not be made, or that such would not create a safety hazard. The company revised its proposal in the course of its review with the union, considering that the thirty minute limit might be difficult to achieve in some cases. The electrical aspect of the procedure, clearly, is not as simple as it is in the cases which have so far been discussed. The company's revised proposal is that Machinists do the disconnecting, marking the wires as they are disconnected. This limited task at least is one which, in my view, Machinists may safely perform. Reconnection remains Electricians' work.
8. (Proposal No. 17) Crankcase Exhauster Motor Changeout
What is involved by way of electrical work is the disconnection and reconnection of two wires which cannot be incorrectly connected. The work involved is simple and may safely be performed by a Machinist.
9. (Proposal No. 19) Dynamic Brake Blower Motor
While the wires involved in this case are heavier, this is again a matter of disconnecting and reconnecting two wires which cannot be incorrectly connected. Regardless of battery switch or circuit breaker positions, when the locomotive is shut down, there is no current flow through these wires. The task of disconnection and reconnection is a simple one, and may safely be performed by Machinists.
10. (Proposal No. 20) Auxiliary Generator Changeout (GM)
In this case the company considers the incidental tasks of disconnecting and reconnecting the wires as distinct. As in the case of No. 7 above, the company revised its proposal, in the course of review, to one in which the Machinist would be assigned to disconnect, while an Electrician would be assigned to reconnect the wires. The case involves somewhat more difficult work, even in the disconnecting, for which a time of twenty minutes is allowed (in other cases, the "fifteen minutes" often shown as allowed time is greater than the actual time required, fifteen minutes being the minimum accounting time for an assignment). Although the assembly is identified as being of high voltage, there is no power in the circuit while the work is in progress. A craftsman's (and the company's) responsibility to ensure that power is cut is the same in this as in any other of these cases. The electrical task of disconnection in this case is, I find, one which may safely be performed by Machinists.
11. (Proposal No. 24) Operation of Radio and Pendant-Controlled Overhead Cranes
This assignment does not involve electrical disconnections or reconnections and neither safety nor qualifications is put in issue in this case (although of course this equipment must nevertheless be operated safely and by persons generally qualified to use it). As noted earlier, the determination of this case does not affect and is not affected by the matter of what craft might be "the craft to which such work is now assigned" or ought to be assigned. In any event any craftsman may, within the general limits set out in Appendix XIV, operate a radio or pendant-controlled overhead crane to the extent necessary to facilitate the performance of his craft task.
12. (Proposal No. 27) Change Cab Heater
This is, again, a case of simple disconnection and reconnection of two wires which cannot be improperly connected. In many locations, it appears that the entire task of removing and reapplying the cab heater is performed by an Electrician. At Angus Shops, the primary task is performed by a Sheet Metal Worker. In either case the disconnection and reconnection of the wires is incidental to the main task. It is, I find, safe for a Sheet Metal Worker to perform that incidental work as well as the main task.
13. (Proposal No. 29) Change Air Brake LUM Rack
There are two wires to be disconnected and reconnected, the connections being of a push-pull type, and it being of noconsequence to which terminal the connection of a wire is made. This is, I find, a task which it is safe for a Machinist to perform.
14. (Proposal No. 38) Change Slip Rings on Alternator
In the company's submission there are four wires – two matching pairs – to be disconnected and reconnected. This is a simple task, and if that is all the electrical work involved, then it can safely be performed by a Machinist. The evidence is in conflict, however, as to whether or not the slip ring can be removed without also removing the brush holders on the top and bottom of the alternator. That is electrical work which it is not suggested a Machinist could properly do. The evidence before me does not sufficiently establish that the electrical tasks related to this job, considered as a whole, are really incidental and can safely be done by a Machinist. This proposal is accordingly denied.
15. (Proposal No. 53) Caboose Engine Change
In this case the Machinist (as the Pipefitters' union has agreed) performs certain incidental pipefitting work (disconnect and reconnect fuel pipes), and it is proposed that the Machinist perform certain electrical work also. The electrical work consists of disconnecting and reconnecting four wires, which are, or should be, clearly marked. The connections themselves are simple, and while misconnections may be made, resulting in malfunctions, these are not of such a nature as to be a threat to safety or, it is said, as to result in damaged equipment. The Machinist's task is the replacement of a small diesel engine which provides electricity for caboose lights and "house power"; the engine is replaced as a single component. Having regard to all of the material before me with respect to this task, it is my view that it is one which may safely be performed by a Machinist.
16. (Proposal No. 59) Trackmobile 100 Hour Inspection
As a part of the inspection of a trackmobile, certain electrical, as well as mechanical inspections are required. The electrical functions are the checking of the battery (visual examination of casing, wires and battery post, and the taking of a hydrometer reading); the observation of the alternator meter to determine whether the needle is in the green or red position; and the testing of the emergency shutoff/alarm system, by pushing the emergency button and observing whether the engine shuts down or the alarm goes off. These checks are in the nature of those routinely performed by many machine or vehicle operators. I have no doubt that they may safely be performed by Machinists in the course of a trackmobile inspection.
17. (Proposal No. 63) Welding of Components
The welding machine is used by qualified welders from a number of crafts and in particular, it appears, by Carmen. The proposal is that the Welder change unserviceable components of the welding machine, in particular the electrode holder, whip or ground clamp. The tasks involve the loosening of the electrical cables by means of set screws, replacement of parts, and tightening of the screws. The unit is of course off power while this is done. Any mechanic operating the welding machine can, I consider, carry out these tasks safely.
In most instances, the company noted in its submission that the Machinists' union "did not object" to the assignment of the tasks in question to their members. While no formal objection may have been taken, I do not consider that there has been any sort of formal "consent" either, although in any event that would not be binding on the Electricians' union. In making the determinations I have in this case, I have not considered either the position of other unions or the situation on the other railroad, although that is not to say that those matters might not be considered material on another occasion.
It has been noted above that it is not a part of a Machinist's (or any other craftsman's than an Electrician's) job to inspect wiring (although an awareness that wiring is in obviously bad condition may be expected), and it is certainly not part of such a person's job to trace circuits. Where the tasks dealt with in this case involve, as from time to time any of them might, particular unusual conditions, it may be a question in each case whether or not the mechanic may properly proceed. The decisions made in the instant case are general in nature, and are based on the material before me, which establishes to my satisfaction (in all cases but one), that the work comes within the scope of the Incidental Work Rule.
It was further argued by the union that in normal main shop conditions, the various changeout and other tasks which have been referred to here form, along with other tasks, part of a broader assignment. As I noted earlier in this award, it would not be proper for the company to subdivide the mechanical tasks so as to arrive at a set of smaller electrical elements which would then come within the 30-minute limit. That is not to say, however, that for each of a number of properly identified individual tasks – and I consider those dealt with above to be such – the incidental electrical tasks may not be independently considered. The matter of any resulting reduction in the need for one craft or another is addressed in Annex 1 to Appendix XIV.
For all of the foregoing reasons, the company's proposals, with the exception of Proposal No. 38, are allowed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 20th day of March, 1989.
(signed) J. F. W. Weatherill