Canadian Labour Reporter

May 1, 2017

Canadian Labour Reporter is the trusted source of information for labour relations professionals. Published weekly, it features news, details on collective agreements and arbitration summaries to help you stay on top of the changing landscape.

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6 Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2017 ARBITRATION AWARDS May 1, 2017 was using was better for the job he was doing, according to Urbanski. An argument broke out and Ur- banski tried to physically remove Grant from the forklift. The inci- dent was witnessed by several em- ployees. "He was choking me and I couldn't breathe. I then relaxed a bit and he relaxed too. I got free. I thought he was going to kill me," said Grant. Urbanski said Grant grabbed a knife and said, "I ought to slit your throat." But no witnesses reported see- ing a knife. Supervisor Mike Hauser watched a video of the incident after being alerted to it by Grant. Hauser approached Urbanski and escorted him out of the ware- house, sending him home for the rest of the shift. Later that night, Urbanski wrote an apology letter and called another supervisor to request it be sent to Grant. During a May 16 meeting, the letter was handed out to supervi- sors, but Urbanski was let go. "I was completely out of order. I have learned from this. It was not in my character. Mistakes hap- pen," said Urbanski during the meeting. He said that he had been under great stress at home due to various family members (includ- ing his wife) who were suffering from health problems. He also blamed Grant for "egg- ing me on at the time" of the fork- lift fight. The union, Teamsters Local Union 987, grieved the dismissal. It said a previous incident be- tween two workers (Luke Gordon and Brett Toews) — which was addressed under the company's workplace violence policy — re- sulted in suspensions, not termi- nation. The company countered and said Urbanski was the only one present who mentioned a knife and he only apologized for the in- cident well after the fact. Arbitrator Roger Gunn upheld the grievance and substituted a six-week suspension. But he ruled Urbanski should be posted to a different warehouse location. "Urbanski's record did not contain any previous incidents of fighting or violent behaviour in his 23 years' service with the company. The discipline meted out to Gordon and Toews by the company shows how FCL dealt with fighting in the workplace. Both were given the choice of a 10- day suspension and mandatory counselling or termination, one of whom chose termination," said Gunn. The allegation that Grant bran- dished a knife was dismissed by the arbitrator. "One can only con- clude that Urbanski fabricated this story, perhaps to make Grant look like he was equally violent in the altercation. This puts into question the credibility of Urban- ski's testimony," said Gunn. The incident was not an ongo- ing character flaw of Urbanski, said Gunn, but instead "the alter- cation was a momentary flare-up." Urbanski had six letters of dis- cipline between September 2005 and November 2015, but none were for violence. "The company did not argue this was a culminat- ing incident on top of all the other disciplinary letters Urbanski had been given. Perhaps my award would have been different had they done so," said Gunn. Reference: Federated Co-Operatives and Operations and Teamsters Local Union 987. Roger Gunn — arbitrator. Tom Ross for the employer. Clayton Cook for the employee. April 17, 2017. Ottawa airport ramp agent fired for not having licence EVEN THOUGH it wasn't a re- quirement when he was first hired, a ramp agent's failure to obtain his Airport Vehicle Operations Per- mit (AVOP) led to his dismissal. Jason McCanna had worked at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport since Aug. 21, 2012, when he was hired by Dryden Air Services, one of the predecessors of his latest em- ployer, ASIG Ground Handling Canada. As an agent, McCanna's job included moving ramp vehicles around on the airport tarmac. In addition to the AVOP, an agent was required to hold a valid On- tario or Quebec driver's licence. In March 2015, the employer hired a trainer to educate a su- pervisor who would train seven agents on how to obtain an AVOP. McCanna, however, did not hold a G1 licence, so he was not part of the initial group trained. In June 2015, McCanna was directed to shadow the supervi- sor and begin informal training. He was also ordered to obtain his G2 licence, so he could eventually take the AVOP course. McCanna agreed to this and a meeting to discuss his progress was sched- uled for Sept. 15. The meeting was not complet- ed until Dec. 21, when McCanna told Doug Brown, station man- ager for ground handling, that he was enrolled in driving lessons and he expected to complete them by January 2016. When they met on Jan. 27, Mc- Canna told Brown he lost his G1 licence, probably due to it falling out of his pocket, and he would need more time to replace it be- fore obtaining the G2 status. He also said he had run out of funds to finish the driver's training. In July 2016, the 12-month deadline had passed for all em- ployees to hold the AVOP. Mc- Canna was given a final deadline of Aug. 31 to obtain the required certification. On Sept. 8, he was terminated for not holding the proper licence. McCanna visited a doctor after his firing and told the doctor he most likely had a fear of driving. The doctor wrote a letter that said: "Jason has a phobia of driving that has been longstanding and se- vere." The union, International As- sociation of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, grieved the termination and argued the com- pany did not discuss "exceptional circumstances" which would al- low the employee to explain why he didn't complete the training, as was called for in the collective agreement. Because he was not required to have a licence when he was hired, the company didn't treat McCan- na fairly by not offering him work in other areas that did not require licencing, such as the bag room, according to the union. As well, McCanna was close to achieving the licence and was in the process of rescheduling a new appointment, after he failed in his first attempt, said the union. Arbitrator Sydney Baxter dis- agreed and dismissed the griev- ance. "It is my view that McCanna's claim of having a phobia of driv- ing just does not pass muster," said Baxter. "He admitted that he had driven a car in the past. He said he had paid a tutor $20 an hour to assist him in preparing for his driver's test. However, he failed to complete the course because he ran out of money." The importance of the doctor's note was rejected by the arbitra- tor. "What was submitted into evi- dence was nothing more that Mc- Canna's subjective report to his physician and his physician acting as advocate for his patient, in pro- viding a one-line diagnosis." The company was not in- formed of a true phobia so accom- modation was not called for, said Baxter. "McCanna admitted that he did not inform Brown or any of his superiors during his time of employment with the company about having a phobia of driving a car. He said that he told Brown about being nervous with refer- ence to his driving test. I have no doubt that most people, myself included, experience anxiety and nervousness prior to being exam- ined, be it for a driver's test or a history test in high school." Reference: ASIG Ground Handling Canada and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Sydney Baxter — arbitrator. Kristin Taylor for the employer. Michael Corrado for the employee. April 3, 2017. < Fight pg. 1

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