SHP – 508




(the “Company”)



(the “Union”




SOLE ARBITRATOR:                Vincent L. Ready



There appeared on behalf of the Company:

John Bate



And on behalf of the Union:

Brian McDonagh




A hearing in this matter was held at Vancouver, B.C., September 28, 1999.



The issue giving rise to this dispute concerns an alleged violation of Rule 52.2E whereby the Company, on September 11, 1998, called a Machinist, Mr. P. Kolodziej to perform Electricians’ work.

The Union filed a grievance alleging a violation of Rule 52.2E, which details Electrician’s work and reads as follows:


52.2E  Electricians’ work shall include electric wiring, maintaining, rebuilding, repairing, inspecting and installing all generators, switchboards, meters, motors and controls, motor generators, magnetos, igniters, electric welding machines, electric headlights and headlight generators, storage batteries, axle lighting equipment, and welding on work generally recognized as electricians’ work. All inside work on public address, shop telephone, fire alarms and electric recording systems, radio equipment and electric clocks, electric lighting fixtures, winding armatures, fields, magnet coils, rotors, transformers and starting compensators. Inside and outside wiring of shops, buildings, yards and on structures, all electric wiring and conduit work in connection therewith, including steam, gas electric, diesel electric and electric locomotives, passenger trains, motor cars, electric tractors and trucks and buses. Repairs to wiring of ignition for internal combustion engines, magnetic, electronic and all other types of electric control. Electric cable splicers, electric crane operators for cranes of forty (40) ton capacity and over, linemen who are required to work on live catenary as part of their regular assignment, and all other work generally recognized as being electricians’ work.

An electrician will not necessarily be an armature winder or lineman.

It is the position of the Union that the Employer was in violation of this provision of the Collective Agreement when it called in a Machinist to perform the work of repairing and replacing a ditch light on a locomotive. The Union argues that this work, past and present, is work that is continuously performed by Electricians.

The Union further submits that the Company is attempting to achieve an alteration in work jurisdiction that could not otherwise be achieved under the Integrated Work Assignment rule, Rule 55, which reads in part:


55.1     The purpose of this Rule is to provide for a procedure whereby, under certain circumstances, work pertaining to one trade, as per the Special Trade Rules, may be performed by another trade.

55.2     Except as is permitted by this rule, work will be performed by employees in the trade to which such work is now assigned. Notwithstanding any other rules to the contrary, in order to efficiently complete an integrated work assignment involving the work of two or more trades, a tradesman in one trade may be required to do the work of another trade for short period of time, provided that the tradesman is qualified to perform the work.

55.3     The maximum period of time that an employee in one trade may be assigned to do the work of another under paragraph 55.2 shall be limited to thirty (30) minutes in respect of any one such integrated work assignment.

The remedy sought by the Union is that an assurance will be provided, in writing, that it is not the intention of the Employer to circumvent the present and current Electricians’ work rule by assigning this type of work to another trade.

The Company denies there has been a violation of Rule 52.2E, stating the work in question is incidental work under Rule 55.

The Employer, for its part, acknowledges that a Machinist, who was in the service repair area on September 11, 1998, replaced the ditch light bulb on a run through train. The Employer also acknowledges the fact that this required work forms part of the Electrician’s classification duties as per the provisions of Rule 52.2E.

However, the Employer takes the position that the work was incidental, consisting of opening a hinged light cover, removing the three retaining screws and disconnecting two quick connect electrical wires, and the reverse, to complete the repairs. The Employer provided a definition of “incidental” from Webster’s Dictionary, which reads, “being likely to ensure as a chance or minor consequence, and/or occurring merely by chance or without intention or calculation”.

It is the position of the Employer that the task in question could be performed within a period of ten minutes and it would take longer to secure the services of an Electrician, assign him to go to the service area, and affect the repairs, thus adding undue delay to the departure of the run through train.

The Employer also submits a letter dated November 6, 1995, which was forwarded to the CAW Union President, that outlines Integrated Work Assignments and argues that the work in question falls under item #501 of Appendix A to that letter, which reads:

#501: Electrical Cable Plugs

Remove and apply where necessary to access and/or change a defective component such as governor, water temperature switches/panel, cooling fans, blower motors, speed indicators, axle generator, probes, etc. All Trades (Various trades) Electrician 15 mins.

It is the position of the Employer that “etc” does not limit the list, nor is the list exclusive, and other components, such as light bulbs, fall under that agreement.

Consequently, the Employer argues that, based on this assignment of incidental work, and the applicable Integrated Work Assignments, the Company did not violate the provisions of Rule 52.2E.


In the particular circumstances of this case I find that there was no violation of the Collective Agreement. The work in question took less than ten minutes to complete and was clearly incidental work that could be performed by another trade.

Moreover, the document submitted by the Employer as Appendix A to the letter dated November 6, 1995 sets out the Integrated Work Assignments which may, in my view, include the disputed work in this case.

In the result, the grievance is dismissed.

It is so awarded.

DATED AT VANCOUVER in the Province of British Columbia this 29th day of October, 1999.