IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
ONTARIO NORTHLAND RAILWAY
- and -
BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY CARMEN OF CANADA
POLICY GRIEVANCE REGARDING RELIEF AT NORTHERN TERMINALS
SOLE ARBITRATOR: Michel G. Picher
APPEARING FOR THE UNION:
Brian Stevens –
André Bedard – General Chairman
APPEARING FOR THE COMPANY:
Michael Restoule – Labour Relations Assistant
R. Leach – Chief Mechanical Officer
W. G. Bishop – Superintendent Car Maintenance
A hearing in this matter was held in North Bay, Ontario on June 8, 1989.
The assigning of D. Seguin to relieve in Timmins and the assigning of A. Furrow to relieve in Englehart for vacation purposes.
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT
When relief was required for vacations at Timmins and Englehart, the company canvassed the North Bay main terminal for applicants under Rule 23.12. When there was no response the junior men were forced to go.
The Brotherhood claims that the employees should not have been forced.
The company maintains that there was no violation of the collective agreement.
For the Company: For the Brotherhood:
"P.A. Dyment" "A. Bedard"
The Union objects to the Company’s assignment of Junior Carmen at North Bay to temporary relief positions at Timmins and Englehart. By means of this policy grievance it asserts that Company cannot force a junior employee out of his home terminal to relieve for vacation purposes at another terminal.
It is not disputed that in the instances that gave rise to this grievance the Company did post bulletins in an attempt to obtain volunteers for vacation relief positions at the northern terminals. When those efforts proved unsuccessful, junior carmen at North Bay were forced onto the assignments. The Company’s contention is that the practice followed in the cases giving rise to this grievance has been in effect for a number of years.
The Union’s representatives have not directed the Arbitrator to any language in the collective agreement which would prohibit the employer from temporarily assigning junior Carmen at North Bay to vacation relief assignments at other terminals. In a collective bargaining setting it is a general presumption that an employer retains the management right to direct its workforce, including the right to assign and transfer employees, subject only to such restrictions as may be specifically articulated within the terms of the collective agreement. Rule 23.12 in the instant collective agreement required the Company to respect the right of senior qualified employees from the home Seniority terminal involved to claim vacancies, should they desire them. It does not, however, contain any provision that prohibits the Company from forcing a junior employee whatever his or her work location may be, from being temporarily assigned to perform the relief in question, when employees cannot be found through the exhaustion of the procedures in Rule 23.12.
The facts giving rise to the instant case disclose no violation of Rule 23.12, nor of any other provision of the collective agreement. For the foregoing reasons the grievance must be dismissed.
DATED AT TORONTO, this 12th day of June, 1989.
(signed) Michel G. Picher