Award No. 21
Case No. 21
PUBLIC LAW BOARD NO. 4897
United Transportation Union
Union Pacific Railroad Company
STATEMENT OF CLAIM:
Claim of Conductor J. G. Schmechel and Brakemen R. P. Christensen and W. J. Martinez for 60 minutes for Schedule Rule 32(k) a violation of time limits per Schedule Rule (a).
Upon the whole record, after hearing, the Board finds that the parties herein are Carrier and Employees within the meaning of the Railway Labor Act, as amended, and that this Board is duly constituted under Public Law 89-456 and has jurisdiction of the parties and the subject matter.
The sole issue presented in this dispute is whether Carrier has complied with the requirements of Rule 85(a). That rule provides, inter alia, that:
If a claim is disallowed, the employee or his representative shall be notified in writing with the reasons therefore within 30 days of the date same was filed. ...
That rule also goes on to indicate that the claim would be considered valid if the Carrier has not complied with its time limit provision.
The facts indicate that Carrier's records state that the claim involved had been received on January 19, 1987, and was assigned a file number at that time (and the declination was dated February 12, 1987). The record also indicates, according to the Organization, that the Conductor in this instance, in his capacity as Local Chairman, did not receive a copy of the declination until February 27, 1987, and the other Claimants did not receive their notification until March 10, 1987 (through Company mail). Carrier, on the other hand, insists that its declination was dated February 12, 1987.
The sole issue involved here is the question of potential time limit violation by the Carrier. There is no dispute with respect to the merits not being at issue, and the entire matter rests on the procedural question. The procedural issue is somewhat confused by an assumption that there was some back-dating involved by the timekeepers. That issue is not relevant, as the Board views it. The sole question is when indeed was Carrier's declination received by the various Claimants involved here. Obviously, March 10, was much too late, based on the provisions of Rule 85. There is no explanation of why it took so long for the material to be delivered to Claimants on the part of Carrier. On its face, the claim must be sustained, based on the procedural violation of Carrier. However, in order for the claim to be sustained, Petitioner must submit envelopes or time stamps, or other evidence, to substantiate its contention that the declination was late in terms of its receipt by the Claimants here. If Petitioner provides such information, the claim will be sustained. Otherwise, it failed to meets its burden of proof.
Claim sustained in accordance with the findings above (conditional).
I. M. Lieberman, Neutral-Chairman
G. A. Eickmann, Employee Member
Scott Hinckley, Carrier Member
January 22, 1992