Employer free to reassign tasks to different job classifications: Arbitrator

Agreement allowed for reassigning of duties, layoff of workers for lack of work
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 04/18/2016

A Newfoundland and Labrador employer had the right to lay off four workers when activity on its project decreased — even though part of the reason there was a lack of work was because the duties of the laid-off workers were reassigned to other workers, an arbitrator has ruled.

The Hebron Project involves the construction of an off-shore oil drilling platform to be deployed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. One of its main construction sites was at Bull Arm, Trinity Bay, N.L., where the gravity-based structure (GBS) — a main part of the platform including living quarters — was built before being towed out to the deepwater construction site.

The Hebron Project employed security officers and marine traffic controllers at the GBS construction site. Both positions were classifications within the same bargaining unit.