Re International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers and Phillips Cable Ltd

Document Type

Arbitration Decision

Publication Date



Discharge, Insubordination, Absenteeism, Penalty, Vacation


The company's policy with relation to employees entitled to a three-week vacation had been to grant two weeks during a summer shut-down and allow the employees to select a third week of holidays subject to production needs. This policy was changed and the third week of holidays was required to be taken during a Christmas shut-down. However exceptions were made where employees had made financial commitments prior to the announced change of policy. The grievor, an employee with 14 years seniority, had made a financial commitment for the first week of November and requested a leave of absence in order to take his vacation. After numerous meetings with company officials, his request was refused. The grievor thereupon announced he would be absent and would "take the consequences". Viewing the grievor's absenteeism and insubordination as the culminating event in a history of previous reported and unreported absenteeisms, the company discharged the grievor. Under the powers given it by the collective agreement, the board had authority to make any award that it deemed to be "just and equitable". Held, by the majority of the board, in reinstating the grievor without pay for lost time, the grievor had been penalized sufficiently by his enforced unemployment between the date of his discharge and the date of the hearing of his grievance, and there was little possibility of any reoceurrence of a similar act of insubordination.


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