Serious Lockout Infraction Didn’t Justify Firing Two Workers

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Two maintenance workers were found cleaning a plant’s machine without first locking it out. The employer fired them for this serious safety violation. The union argued that termination was excessive. The arbitrator agreed. The workers committed a serious safety offence. But it wasn’t premeditated or knowingly reckless. And both workers had no prior discipline and had good employment records. Lastly, compared to the discipline imposed in similar cases, firing was excessive under these circumstances [Canada Malting Co. Ltd. v United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1118, [2015] CanLII 34694 (AB GAA), June 17, 2015].