Lead Hand’s Termination for Swearing at Couple Upheld

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A road maintenance contractor fired a lead hand for unprofessional behaviour toward members of the general public, including striking the side of a couple’s van several times and swearing at them. The union argued that termination was excessive, although both the union and the lead hand acknowledged that calling a member of the public a “f**ing a**hole” was inappropriate. The arbitrator upheld his firing. The lead hand’s language and conduct were unprovoked; he never apologized or showed remorse; and he’d been disciplined for abusing a member of the public seven months before this incident [TWD Roads Management Inc. v. International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793, [2011] CanLII 80857 (ON LA), Dec. 14, 2011].