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Mill Worker Who Commits Dangerous Lockout Violation Gets to Keep His Job

Can a mill worker previously disciplined for a lockout violation be fired after he commits a second offence? On the one hand, the mill has a “zero tolerance” lockout policy providing for termination for a second offence. But the first offence was over a year ago, and the collective agreement requires the mill to clear a worker’s disciplinary record after one year. The arbitrator rules that the collective agreement negotiated with the union trumps the lockout policy which the mill implemented unilaterally. Result: The worker is guilty of only a first offence and must be reinstated [Unifor, Local 5080 v Twin Rivers Paper Co. Inc., 2018 CanLII 99677 (NB LA), Oct. 3, 2018].