Termination unreasonable, worker reinstated

The company’s procedure for recalling from layoff was both long-standing and contrary to the collective agreement. One driver who did not want to be called back for temporary work was caught by the system.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/18/2011

A seasonal worker was fired for being absent without leave after he failed to heed messages to call his employer following a seven-month layoff. The union grieved, arguing that the employer had not observed the recall provisions laid out in the collective agreement.

Hired in June 2007, B.G. worked seasonally as a truck driver for a paving and aggregate company. While he worked the winter months for another haulage company, B.G. preferred working for the paving company, which paid more.

However, as he needed steady, full-time work, B.G. advised the paving company that he could not sacrifice his alternate, full-time job for a day’s work here and there. Therefore he asked the foreman at the paving company to only call him when the company had steady work for him. The foreman informed B.G. that it was permissible for him to refuse short-term work, but that B.G. would be called regardless when his name came up according to his place on the seniority list.