Green light stops safety at Vale, conductor fired

Incident had potentially 'catastrophic consequences,' arbitrator says
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/21/2014

After misreading track traffic signals, a conductor was found guilty of endangering himself and his coworkers, and was rightfully fired, an arbitrator has ruled.

Wayne Denny, a train conductor at a Vale mine operation in Ontario since 2007, was fired in 2012 after giving the go-ahead to a locomotive engineer to proceed onto the track of a smelter when it was not safe to do so.

Though Denny claimed the light had been on when he gave the instruction to the engineer, and at some point thereafter must have been switched off, the employer said the light log indicated the signal had been off the entire time. As such, Denny was fired.