Reinstatement Appropriate for Contrite Worker

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/04/2011

Fired following an incident where he roughly pushed a fellow worker, bruising her arm, a maintenance mechanic at an industrial bakery was reinstated when the Arbitrator ruled that the worker was sincerely contrite and accepted his assurance that he had not intended to hurt his coworker.

Hired in 2004, S.L. had five years’ seniority when he became involved in an altercation with another employee while attempting to repair a malfunctioning machine.

A little after beginning an overtime shift following a full night shift, S.L. was informed by an operator that the “rounder” — a machine that separates and dispenses product for packaging — was jamming up with bread. The machine was located behind a fence and accessible only through a gate that operates a safety interlock, which shuts down the machine once the gate is opened.