Termination warranted for intentional destruction

The grievor was angry over a proposed change in his shift schedule and felt that it would cause him hardship. In a fit of frustration, he destroyed a piece of equipment. The arbitrator considered the action as intentional and did not reverse the termination.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 08/08/2011

A worker at a fruit drink manufacturing company was fired after he was observed in the spare parts room smashing an electric motor by throwing it to the ground two or three times. The union said that the worker’s actions were not premeditated.

M.K. was a certified electrician. He had been employed since 2003 at a plant with a job that was physically demanding. The job became more difficult for M.K. following a workplace injury in 2008 when he fell from a ladder. The new injury exacerbated a pre-existing back condition.

Accommodating M.K. within his restrictions proved to be difficult. M.K. complained of significant pain and his use of prescribed painkillers — and the effect of the medication on his mental state — concerned his supervisor.