When a Maple Leaf worker was terminated after a lengthy absense from work due to illness - a grievance was filed, resulting in the member receiving $3,800

June 5, 2006
A Maple Leaf Fresh Foods Brandon union member had been off on extended sick leave since January 2003. In January 2005 the company sent the member a termination letter due to the fact that he had not worked for two years. Under Article 7 (6), of the union contract, seniority shall be considered broken and employment terminated if an employee has not worked for a period of two years or longer due to illness or injury. However, the union felt that in this case there were circumstantial issues beyond the employee's control that were preventing him from returning to work. A grievance was filed. The grievor was awaiting surgery but a date had not yet been set at the time the termination letter was sent out. Unfortunately, the grievor was at the mercy of the medical system as he was not able to set his own surgery date. The grievor maintained that once he received his surgery and attended his physiotherapy sessions he would be able to return to work with full duties. After several meetings between the company and the union, the grievance was referred to arbitration. Just prior to going to arbitration a settlement between the parties was reached. The grievor's employment record was made whole and he received a lump sum payment of over $3,800.

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