Ontario Power Generation phases out safety gear too quickly

CUPE wins grievance for one group of staff, not the other
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 01/19/2015

When Ontario Power Generation phased out its safety gear, it did so wrongly for one group of workers, but not for another, an arbitrator has ruled.

Before the electrical company entered into collective bargaining with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), it decided in 2012 to scrap the long standing practice of providing undergarments to certain employees, citing technological improvements that rendered the garments obsolete.

CUPE disagreed and filed two grievances challenging the employer’s actions on the grounds that providing undergarments was an "environmental privilege" under the collective agreement and was a working condition that could not be unilaterally changed by the employer.