OK to Suspend, Then Fire Sawmill Worker for Not Locking Out
Three months after suspending him for a lockout violation, a sawmill fired a journeyman millwright for committing the same offence. The union grieved both penalties but to no avail. The employer’s witnesses who claimed that the millwright had failed to lockout were more credible than the millwright’s assertions that he did, according to the arbitrator. Ten days wasn’t too severe a suspension for the first offence, even if it was inadvertent; and termination for a repeat violation was also appropriate given the mill’s safety-sensitive environment, the seriousness of the offence, the millwright’s lousy safety record and his lack of remorse [Canadian Forest Products Ltd. v Unifor, Local 446, 2018 CanLII 8167 (AB GAA), Feb. 23, 2018].