IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN PACIFIC LIMITED
Brotherhood Railway Carmen of Canda
re GRIEVANCE of G. BASTIEN - TEN DEMERITS FOR ABSENTEEISM
SOLE ARBITRATOR: M. G. Picher
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 5, 1990.
This arbitration concerns the assessment of ten demerits for absenteeism. At the hearing the following statement was filed by the parties.
Discipline assessed to Mr. G. Bastien, Angus Shops, Montreal, Quebec on February 15, 1989.
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT
On February 18, 1989, Carman Bastien's record was debited 10 demerit marks for:
Absentéisme entre le 14 octobre 1988 et le 11 janvier 1989. Antécédents: 45 Total à date: 55
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE
It is the position of the Brotherhood Railway Carman that the Company has treated Carman G. Bastien in an unjust and excessive manner and has violated Rules 16.1, 28.1 and 28.2 of the collective agreement, therefore, the 10 demerits debited to G. Bastien's record should be removed forthwith.
The Company denies the claim.
The material discloses that on January 18, 1989 the Company conducted an investigation into the grievor's attendance at work for the period October 14, 1988 to January 11, 1989. Over that time Mr. Bastien recorded some fifteen instances of absence or lateness over sixty working days. The Company asserts that ten of the instances remain unsatisfactorily explained, and give cause for the assessment of discipline.
The Arbitrator is satisfied that the material does disclose grounds for the assessment of discipline against the grievor. Specifically, with respect to January 10 and 11, 1989, when the grievor was allegedly absent for personal reasons, it appears that he was in fact away from work to pursue alternative employment, for which he had previously been refused a leave of absence. Additionally, a number of instances of illness occurring on Fridays and Mondays were not adequately substantiated by the grievor's explanations. On balance the Arbitrator must conclude that the Company was justified in assessing discipline against Mr. Bastien for his absenteeism during the period in question and that ten demerits was within the appropriate range of penalty. Nor can the Arbitrator accept the submission of the Union that there has been a violation of Rule 16 and Rule 28 in the actions of the Company. In particular, there is nothing within the rules which limits the Company's ability to review an employee's attendance records over a period limited to twenty-eight calendar days, as the Union's representatives suggests. While it may be that asking an employee to justify absences over an unreasonably long period of time could infringe his or her right to a fair and impartial investigation, that is not disclosed in the circumstances of this case. For all of the foregoing reasons the grievance must be dismissed.
DATED at Toronto this 17th day of April, 1990.
(sgd) M. G. Picher