IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION
CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY
NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE, TRANSPORTATION AND GENERAL WORKERS UNION OF CANADA (CAW-CANADA) LOCAL 101
RE: DISCIPLINE ASSESSED CARMAN C. GEHRING, TORONTO
Sole Arbitrator: Michel G. Picher
Appearing For The Union:
Abe Rosner – National Representative, CAW, Montreal
Ron Laughlin – Regional Vice-President, Eastern Region, Local 101
Appearing For The Company:
John Bate – Labour Relations Officer, Calgary
Dave Guerin – Labour Relations Officer, Calgary
Gilles Pépin – Labour Relations Officer, Calgary
A hearing in this matter was held in Montreal on November 16, 1999.
The record reveals that the grievor was assessed twenty demerits for verbal abuse, and an invitation to fight, which he directed to fellow employee M. Smith during the course of his tour of duty at Agincourt Yard on October 13, 1998.
The facts of the case are not disputed. It appears that the grievor was frustrated in his attempt to gain access to an office for the purpose of delivering or completing certain forms. Mr. Smith made an unoffensive comment to him as he left the area to proceed down a stairway, which prompted the grievor to respond “What did you say asshole? … Asshole come back here!” whereupon the grievor pursued Mr. Smith down the corridor and stairway. It appears that during the course of their encounter Mr. Smith was told by Mr. Gehring “… come outside and I will kick the shit out of you” and that when Mr. Smith declined to do so he called him “a fucking chicken”.
Such violent and threatening behaviour plainly has no place in the workplace. While it is to the grievor’s credit that he acknowledged his actions during the course of the investigation and apologized to Mr. Smith after the assessment of discipline, it is understandable that the Company would wish to deal with such an incident by the application of a firm and clear standard of discipline. Workplace violence, which can sometimes escalate to tragic proportions, cannot be tolerated. There is perhaps no other area of behaviour which so justifies appropriate and firm disciplinary sanctions for rehabilitative purposes.
In all of the circumstances the Arbitrator is not inclined to disturb the assessment of twenty demerits levied by the Company. The grievance is therefore dismissed.
Dated at Toronto, November 22, 1999
Michel G. Picher