Award No. 15
Case No. 15



PARTIES                                               Union Pacific Railroad Company

DISPUTE:                                                              and  

United Transportation Union (C&T)



Claim of Conductor D. B. Curtin and Brakemen, T.
E. Fennell and M. R. Macomber for 50 miles under
the provisions of the "Used Off Assignment"


     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.

     On July 1, 1979, Claimants were assigned to the North Platte, Nebraska Interdivisional Freight Pool. On the particular date, Conductor Fare's turn stood ahead of Claimant's turn on the Board. Because Conductor Paro, and his entire regular crew, were not available, and because both the conductors and brakeman's extra boards were exhausted at North Platte, Conductor Paro's turn was blanked. The next out pool turn was called thereafter and in line were the Claimants herein. According to Carrier, Claimants went to work and worked on their regular pool turn in their regular interdivisional freight service from North Platte to Council Bluffs. The Organization, on the other hand, insisted that Claimants were being set up under the provisions of Schedule Rule Items 92 (s) and 92(t).

     Petitioner insists that Claimants herein were used in irregular service instead of on their regular turns, as a result of Carrier's actions. The Organization maintains that there are no rules or agreements, which permit Carrier to permit blank pool turns under any conditions. Furthermore, when a pool turn is blanked, it in essence constitutes a reduction in the pool. This action cannot take place on a temporary basis, as was done in the instant case. Furthermore, there are many agreements and means to permit Carrier to provide conductors and brakemen to fill vacancies when extra boards are exhausted. Those means were not used in this instance. Finally, the Organization maintains that Rule Items 92 (s) and (d) provide for compensation, as claimed in this case, when crews are withheld from their regular turns and use in regular service.  

     Carrier argues that it has always had the right to blank or annul assignments. This right has not been negotiated away in the agreements. Furthermore, in the instant case, the Claimant's crew was used to work their turn in the appropriate service and were first out and were called for their regular assignment. Thus, there was nothing incorrect in the handling of this crew from the beginning. Once Conductor Paro and his crew were unavailable, according to Carrier, and once the extra boards were exhausted, Carrier followed the common sense and long-standing practice of blanking that turn and calling the next crew in turn for their regular assignment. In addition, Carrier argues that the Organization has failed to meet its burden of identifying a rule or agreement, which requires the relinquishment of Carrier's right to blank an assignment.  

     From the Board's point of view, the crux of this matter is Carrier's right to blank a turn, as they did in this instance. In the case at bar here, when Conductor Paro's turn was blanked, all three members of the crew were unavailable and the Extra Boards were exhausted. Therefore, Claimant's turn became first out. There have been innumerable awards in the past, upholding a Carrier's right to annul an assignment such as that herein, and call another regularly assigned crew to the same class of service and stands to be called, as Claimants here. In that circumstance, the crew called is not filling a vacancy which was cancelled, but rather is filling its own vacancy (see for example Award No. 18 of Public Law Board 193, Award No. 5 of Public Law Board 3318 and Award No. 119 of Public Law Board No. 88). Perhaps one of the clearest indications of Carrier's rights in this particular circumstance, was enumerated in 1st Division Award 12554 as follows:  

This Division has held that the right of the Carrier  to have assignments that may overlap is not disputed  (Award 4841) and that Carrier has a right to cancel  an assignment and require other regularly assigned trains to perform the same class of service to handle  tonnage of the cancelled run in the absence of an agreement to the contrary (Award 7510). In view of these established precedents, and the practice on this property, as indicated by the joint statement of facts, there be no rule or agreement shown to indicate any restriction upon Carrier's assigning the work as it did in this instant case, we find no basis for a sustaining award.    

     Several other observations are in order. In this instance, the turn cease to exist when Conductor Paro's turn was blanked. Conductor Curtin and his crew were then properly called for service on the interdivisional pool to which they were assigned. They were not assigned in irregular service but in their normal assignment. There are no rules supporting the claim in fact. As Carrier pointed out, the handling in this instance is a common one. Whenever an entire crew is unavailable and both extra boards are exhausted, the Carrier blanks a turn, as it did in this instance. This Board will not deny Carrier the right to blank a position as requested by Petitioner. That right can only be negotiated away rather than dealt with by a Board such as this.


 Claim denied.

 I.M. Lieberman, Neutral-Chairman

 G. A. Eickmann, Employee Member

 Scott Hinckley, Carrier Member

Omaha, Nebraska
December 30, 1991