SHP – 417
IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY (MECHANICAL OPERATIONS)
NATIONAL, AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS UNION OF CANADA (CAW-CANADA) LOCAL 101
GRIEVANCE REGARDING WORK PERFORMED BY SUPERVISORS AT MANITOUWADGE AND WHITE RIVER
SOLE ARBITRATOR: Michel G. Picher
There appeared on behalf of the Company:
Ken Webb – Manager, Labour Relations
J. J. Worrall – Labour Relations Officer
And on behalf of the Union:
B. R. McDonagh – National Representative
Ron Laughlin – Witness
A hearing in this matter was held in Toronto on August 2, 1996.
This grievance alleges violations of the collective agreement, claiming compensation at overtime rates, by reason of certain tasks performed by supervisors. The dispute, joint statement of fact and joint statement of issue read as follows:
Claim of Carmen G.F. Houston, L.I. Whitton and J.P. Bruneau for thirty-two (32) hours wages at prevailing overtime rates.
JOINT STATEMENT OF FACT:
During the months of January and February, 1996 the work of changing defective trainline hoses at White River was performed by supervisors of the Company.
Supervisors were also utilized during that time to perform the work of rerailing freight cars at Manitouwadge and White River.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ISSUE:
It is the position of the Union that;
Therefore, thirty-two (32) hours at prevailing overtime rates based on the basic rate for a Carman should be paid to G.F. Houston, L.I. Whitton and J.P. Bruneau respectively.
The Company contends that there has been no violation of the Collective Agreement and denies the Union’s allegations and claim.
The grievance, which is a letter dated February 14, 1996, specifies four separate incidents which are the base of the Union’s claim. The first two claims, arising on January 26 and January 31, 1996, involve the re-railing of equipment, including a snowplow, at Manitouwadge and White River, respectively. The second two items of complaint concern changing defective brake hoses on two separate cars at White River, Ontario on February 4 and February 6, 1996.
I deal firstly with the installation of the brake hoses on the two occasions in question. Rule 12 reads, in part:
Official, managerial or supervisory employees shall not be allowed to perform the work of bargaining unit members when the latter are available. (emphasis added)
It is not disputed that installing brake hose, as occurred in the case at hand, is work normally performed by carmen in the bargaining unit. However, the facts before the arbitrator disclose that when the work in question was done at White River, there were no carmen then available at that location. The Company’s representative notes that carmen posted at Schreiber would have had to travel a distance of 208 kilometres by highway to White River to perform the work in question. The arbitrator is satisfied that in that circumstance the carmen cannot be said to have been "available" within the contemplation of Rule 12. In the circumstance, it was open to the Company, for obvious reasons of efficiency in its operations and to avoid delay, to have the work, which is relatively simple, performed by a supervisor on site. In the circumstances, no violation of the Rule is disclosed.
I turn to consider the issue of the re-railing of equipment at Manitouwadge and White River. It should be stressed that these incidents involved single pieces of equipment, one of which was a snow plow, and that there was no need of heavy equipment to perform the re-railing in question. Again, based on the language of Rule 12, reviewed above, I am satisfied that there were no carmen available to do the re-railing work in question. Moreover, it is doubtful that re-railing can be claimed as exclusively within the jurisdiction of carmen, at least to the extent that the re-railing in question is straightforward, using a simple re-railer, without recourse to specialized heavy equipment normally operated by carmen. The situation is not unlike that considered by the arbitrator in Ontario Northland Railway and Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of Canada in SHP-288, an unreported award dated January 12, 1990. In that case the Union itself acknowledged, as the Company asserts in this case, the simple re-railing of equipment by employees other than carmen, is standard practice in the industry. In the award in question, the following appears:
In the instant case, the Brotherhood does not claim exclusive jurisdiction to all aspects of the re-railing process. Its representative acknowledges that re-railing has been performed by other trades, including running trades and track maintenance forces using common re-railers.
There is no suggestion of any different past practice as regards the parties to this dispute. Based upon the foregoing, I am satisfied that there has been no violation of the jurisdictional protections of the collective agreement with respect to carmen’s work in the simple re-railing of equipment at Manitouwadge and White River. For all of these reasons, the grievance is dismissed.
DATED at Toronto this 13th day of August, 1996.
(signed) MICHEL G. PICHER