Unattended delivery truck leads to Canada Post dispatcher termination in Ottawa

Employee provided ‘number of false excuses’: Arbitrator

A long-time employee of Canada Post was fired after a delivery truck trailer was left unaccounted for overnight.
Brock Joubarne worked as a dispatcher with the crown corporation since 2003. On Oct. 2, 2016, Joubarne began his shift at an Ottawa mail processing plant.
According to the scan-to-vehicle sheet (STV), a trailer arrived at the loading dock at 9:39 a.m. and it was unloaded immediately. The load included several high-priority delivery items.
Instead, the trailer remained parked beside a fence, which was in a fire route and was against company regulations. It was eventually discovered, unsecured, by a traffic control officer shortly after midnight on Oct. 3.
When Joubarne was asked about the trailer by superintendent Jean Levengneux, he said he informed supervisor Donatus Nnorom or another one identified as “Ange” about the missing trailer. However, Ange didn’t work that day and Nnorom said he received no such message from Joubarne.
Joubarne also said his PDT (portable data terminal) wasn’t working that day due to Wi-Fi signal issues. Joubarne also claimed his PDT was crashed for the entire shift and when he requested the trailer to be moved to the loading dock, there were no spots available. 
Joubarne apologized to Levengneux about the trailer being left unattended for his entire shift. He blamed the mistake on inadequate training. 
After the interview, Levengneux felt that Joubarne wasn’t being truthful or sincere. 
Nnorom testified that he worked the same shift as Joubarne and at no time did he request help for moving a trailer to the dock, as was the protocol. Nnorom said it was the responsibility of a dispatcher, especially one with as much experience as Joubarne, to ensure all trailers were accounted for.
Joubarne was terminated on Oct. 13. Canada Post also cited previous discipline, including a one-month suspension. 
The union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), grieved the firing and argued that because Joubarne was allowed to work for 10 days after the incident, it was unjustified. And his apology after being interviewed showed remorse for his actions.
Arbitrator Owen Shime dismissed the grievance. 
“(Joubarne) has a disciplinary record including a one-month suspension in which he was cautioned that he was on the precipice of being discharged. In addition, he has other discipline. I am unable to conclude the discharge was unjust and accordingly, the grievance is dismissed.”
There were multiple instances of misconduct on the day in question, said Shime, which justified the dismissal.
“When (Joubarne) was interviewed, he made a number of false excuses: The PDT was not working and he was not trained. (Joubarne’s) conduct in not securing the mail was a serious breach of his duties as a dispatcher and he did not aid his cause by initially attempting to evade responsibility and only apologized when it was readily apparent he was at fault. He stated he apologized because of the Wi-Fi connectivity which was a conditional apology and not full acceptance of responsibility. In these circumstances, I find (Joubarne) failed to verify the scanned unloading and left the mail unsecured in the yard, and was negligent or reckless and seriously breached his duties as a dispatcher. Also, he attempted to evade responsibility for his negligent conduct.”
“(Joubarne) was negligent in not ensuring the trailer got to the dock and was negligent when he left at 4 p.m. having scanned the trailer as unloaded while knowing that the trailer was still in the yard and sealed which left the mail unsecured.  He claimed that he thought the supervisor would look after it but he did not know when the supervisor’s shift ended,” said Shime. 
“Thus, it is conceivable that the supervisor’s shift ended before 4 p.m. when (Joubarne) left and therefore his excuse the supervisor would look after it lacks merit. (Joubarne) at all material times failed to verify that the trailer was unloaded which was his responsibility,” said Shime.
Reference: Canada Post and Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Owen Shime — arbitrator. John Mastoras, Peter MacTavish for the employer. Wassim Garzouzi for the employee. Feb. 25, 2019.

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