No More Last Chances for Engineer with Termination-Worthy Demerits Total
An engineer with a dubious safety record violated a cardinal safety rule by running his locomotive through a red flag. Added to the 49 demerit points he already had, the 40 points CNR assessed for the incident put the engineer well over the so-called Brown System 60-demerit termination threshold. The union asked for reinstatement but the arbitrator declined. Forty demerit points wasn’t unreasonable in light of other cases involving such infractions. And even if the penalty were knocked down to 30, the engineer would still be over the top—especially considering the other violations for which he got suspensions rather than demerit points [Canadian National Railway v Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, 2018 CanLII 934 (CA LA), Jan. 8, 2018].