OH&S discipline policy not unreasonable

The union objected to the employer’s policy on the wearing of personal protective equipment. It argued that it was too punitive in not reflecting progressive discipline. Not only was the policy reasonable, but the union had acquiesced in its application for too long to grieve now.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/29/2011

The union charged that the employer was routinely skipping the first offence level of discipline for Safety Violations and imposing three-day, non-working suspensions instead of written warnings. The union filed a policy grievance.

The union and the employer shared a concern for safety at the employer’s beef harvesting and processing facility. About 800 workers were employed at the plant. Conditions could be difficult. Workers routinely worked with knives, saws and machinery capable of causing serious injury or death.

Beginning in 2002, the employer implemented a policy on progressive discipline.