Long Service Spares Worker Termination for Insubordination

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/03/2011

A dispute over how to proceed with scheduled work quickly and seriously degenerated when an experienced worker took offence at his supervisor’s inference that he was doing his job improperly.

Employed by a metal smelting company for 16 years, S.H. was working in the shipping department where he was responsible for preparing bulk loads of bagged zinc oxide for shipping.

Four loads were scheduled for pick up during S.H.’s shift on the day in question — the first at 11 a.m. However, transport was late for the first load and at 11:30 S.H. was in the lunchroom using his iPhone. Queried by his supervisor as to why the first load was not yet completely assembled, and why preparations for assembling the second load were not already underway, S.H. explained that congestion in the docks prevented the assembly of the second shipment.