Labor Grievance



June26, 2014.

Case:Non-Promotion of a Mechanic

Analyzingthe case

Thecompany reserved the right to make qualification judgment forpromotion based on sufficient evidence collected in regard to theemployees’ efficiency, ability, experience and other qualificationsin their records. Assessing the criteria applied by the company topromote staffs indicates that, seniority was not the onlydeterminant, other aspects were considered. In this case, althoughMr. Cox felt aggrieved by the company’s treatment despite his goodrecord, the company acted within its mandate. However, the companywas not justified in denying Mr. Cox promotion without giving him afair trial assessment (Budd,2010).

Thecompany betrayed the contractual agreement under article 6.8 in whichthe company could have given Mr. Cox an opportunity to prove anddemonstrate his competence. The article clearly states that anemployee deserved a 90- day trial period in which their performanceare assessed. If their performance does not satisfy the expected jobperformance requirement then the employees are restored to theirformer jobs after been given reasons why they did not qualify forpromotion. In this way, the company would have acted fairly on Mr.Cox given his seniority and years of excellent service as underarticle 6.1 and 6.5 of contractual language (Budd,2010).

Theargument by the Union that the last sentence on Article 6.5 wassufficient in considering Cox for promotion on the basis of seniorityis not true. Other factors were important in assessing thequalifications for promotion. The Union argument that Cox ought to becompensated for contractual violation does not hold much ground,while the company might have contravened certain sections of thecontractual agreement the company had applied most of thecontractual agreement in their choice of Mr. Bixby. Under Article 6.6of the contractual agreement, the company reserved every right tomake its judgment (Budd,2010).The company stated that, in the overall comparison Mr. Cox fell shortof the qualifications based on his inability to work under limitedsupervision and that despite his seniority, he was not as highlyskilled as Mr. Bixby.

Thecompany evaluation of Mr. Cox qualification indicates clearly that,its basis of choice on whom to promote was beyond seniorityqualification as espoused under Article 6.5. In other standards ofevaluation according to the company, Mr. Cox skills did not satisfythe threshold required by the company for the position of atechnician his skills were below average to that of Mr. Bixby and assuch, the company was right in denying him promotions. In addition,there were no provisions that the company should compensate Mr. Coxfor not been promoted contrary to the Union argument. If Mr. Cox hadbeen laid off involuntarily or retrenched that would have justifiedhis compensation, this case was different, and it was just a denialof promotion while Cox retained his old job. As such, he had nothingto lose or warrant compensation from the company.

However,based on the grievance raised by the union and the grievant on hisrecord of work and his seniority as espoused under Article 6.5, Mr.Cox deserved a 90 day promotion trial in order to give him a fairjudgment and reason for not being promoted. In this respect, the firmcould not have contravened any part of the contractual agreement. Thecommon ground for all parties in this case could have been giving Mr.Cox an opportunity to prove his worth as elaborated in Article 6.8 ofthe contractual agreement. Even if he had not satisfied the companyin his years of service, Mr. Cox had some sense of right underArticle 6.5 and 6.8 which could not be wished away (Budd,2010).

Thecompany made a biased judgment based on the tenets of these articles.If Mr. Cox performed well in his trial period in comparison to Mr.Bixby, then he would have rightly deserved the promotion. Mr. Bixbyhad little to grieve about based on his seniority level in comparisonto Mr. Cox. While one can acknowledge that the company did its bestto apply the tenets of contractual agreement, underneath its judgmentlies bias this could only be rectified by changing certain tenets ofthe contractual agreement to eliminate confusion about promotingstaffs based on seniority level(Budd, 2010).


JohnW. Budd (2010) LabourRelations: Striking a Balance,3rd ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin).