SHP 299





Brotherhood Railway Carmen of Canda







There appeared on behalf of the Union:

B.R. McDonagh System General Chairman

L. Carozza General Chairman, Atlantic Region



There appeared on behalf of the Company:

D.J. David Labour Relations Officer, Montreal

A.Y. deMontigny Supervisor, Personnel and Labour Relations, Mechanical Department

C. Thibault Personnel Development Officer, Angus Shops


A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on April 4, 1990.



This grievance concerns the assessment of five demerits for poor timekeeping. At the hearing the following Statement of Dispute, Joint Statement of Fact and Issue was filed:


Discipline assessed to Mr. G. Bastien, Angus Shops, Montreal, Quebec on November 17, 1987.


On November 17, 1987, Carman Bastien's record was debited 5 demerit marks for:

piètre tenue de temps pour les mois de juillet, août, septembre et octobre 1987. Antécédents: 20 mauvais points Total à date: 25 mauvais points."


It is the position of the Brotherhood Railway Carmen that the Company has treated Carman G. Bastien in an unjust and excessive manner and has violated Rules nos. 28.4 and 16.1 of the collective agreement, therefore, the 5 demerits debited to Carman G. Bastien's record should be removed forthwith.

The Company denies the claim.

The record discloses that on November 2, 1987 the Company conducted an investigation regarding the timekeeping of Grievor G. Bastien for the period of July to October 1987, during which he had accumulated fifteen instances of absences, lateness or early departures. The Company subsequently accepted the grievor's explanation for seven instances out of the fifteen. It maintains the view, however, that eight instances of the fifteen remain unsatisfactorily explained, and disclose absences, lateness or the failure to advise the Company of an inability to be at work or at work on time on the part of Mr. Bastien.

Upon a review of each of the incidents in question, the Arbitrator finds that the grievor left himself deserving of some discipline. On July 6, 1987 Mr. Bastien came to work late because of a family problem concerning one of his children at school. There does not appear to be any reason disclosed, however, that would have prevented him from giving the Company notice of his problem. This he failed to do.

On Monday, July 13, 1987 Mr. Bastien failed to come to work entirely simply because he overslept, and forgot that he had changed shifts. Although it appears that he did telephone the Company upon awakening, the facts disclose a blameworthy failure on his part to attend at work on that day. Similarly, on July 17, 1987 he was absent for the entire day without valid explanation.

On September 3, 1987 the grievor was late for work, apparently because of difficulties with traffic. On September 4, 1987 the grievor failed to punch his card on time. The Company did not accept his explanation that he came in early, before the punch cards were placed in the rack, that he then got changed and subsequently forgot to go back and punch in. In the circumstances it was the grievor's obligation to have the matter corrected by his foreman. Given his apparent failure to do so, the Arbitrator is not prepared to reject the Company's interpretation of that incident.

On October 6, 1987 Mr. Bastien absented himself for Union business. It is common ground that he was not aware that he was required to obtain a written note from Union representative Richard Brazeau, an arrangement which had been communicated by the Company only to Mr. Brazeau. In the circumstances I can find no fault on the part of Mr. Bastien for that incident.

On October 8, 1987 the grievor was late for work. The reason which he gave was that he attended a demonstration concerning the possible future closing of the Angus Shops. I am compelled to agree with the Company that that was not a justifiable excuse for his lateness for work on that date. Similarly on October 15, 1987 he came to work late because of a meeting with his accountant which ran overtime. Again, there appears to have been no reason why he could not have contacted the Company to advise of his lateness and, more importantly, to have so structured his own affairs as not to be late at all.

On the whole I am satisfied that the incidents related above, with the exception of the one concerning the Union meeting, all reveal a failure on the part of Mr. Bastien to adhere to reasonable standards of attendance, punctuality and the obligation to give notice to his employer of any difficulties in that regard. It does not appear disputed that he had previously been warned for poor timekeeping on July 3, 1987. In all of the circumstances I am satisfied that the assessment of five demerits was well within the appropriate range of disciplinary response. I cannot find any violation of Rule 28.4 or Rule 16.1 in the circumstances disclosed, as the Union alleges. For all of the foregoing reasons the grievance must be dismissed.

DATED at Toronto this 17th day of April, 1990.

(sgd) M. G. Picher