NYC Transit Authority v. Local 100 – Grievant: Tony Aiken
July 22, 2014 In the Matter of the Arbitration between NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY and LOCAL 100, TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION For the Authority Baiymusa Kafuara, ESq., Senior Label Director Tom. Latimer, Esq., Senior Label Director For the Union Arthur Schwartz, Esq , Tony Aiken, Grievant BEFORE: HOWARD C. EDELMAN; ESQ.; ARBITRATOR This grievance protests the Authority’s action to ban Tony Aiken, an employee who was placed on Union release time from all transit facilities, except 2 Broadway. A hearing was held before me on April 29, 2014 whereupon I closed the record. This Opinion and reissued1 Award follows. The Union contends Aiken, who is on Union release, should be permitted to go wherever he must in order to fulfill his duties representing Local 100 members. It notes that allegations were raised against him in July 2012 regarding improper sexually based comments to supervisors. Attempts were made by the Authority to discharge Aiken, but they failed, the Union suggests. Hence, it argues, pending the outcome of a disciplinary arbitration, Aiken should be free to service his members at all Authority locations. Moreover, the Union insists, until August 2013, Aiken was permitted to go where he pleased without restraint. Only after complaint by the President of the supervisors’ organization, was Aiken removed from the remaining Authority sites, it notes. Thus, it concludes, the Authority’s actions were arbitrary and issued an Award without opinion on or about June 12, 2014. 2By agreement he could not appear at Kingsbridge, where the supervisor in question then worked. in violation of its right to have those 1.h Union release perform their duties in representing members of the Union business. He continued to do so until August 2013. Significantly, no incidents regarding misbehavior by Aiken was reported during this period. No allegations of any kind were raised against him. He performed his Union duties without incident, insofar as this record reveals. I understand the concerns raised by the President of the Supervisors Union in August 2013 about Aiken’s appearance on Authority property. It is certainly legitimate to keep Aiken away from anyone involved in the case against him or from the site where the alleged misconduct occurred. However, any other restriction on Aiken’s whereabouts would represent a form of “overkill,” in light of his untainted activities for about eight months in 2013. Thus, I shall direct the Authority to permit Aiken to appear on its property at all sites, with escorts1 except Kingsbridge and any facility where the complaining witness or others involved3 in the purported misconduct are assigned. It is so ordered. My earlier Award referred only to the “complaining witness.” It is appropriate to expand this to include “others involved in the purported misconduct.” AWARD The Authority is directed to permit Tony Aiken to conduct Union business on all of its sites except Kingsbridge and any other facility where Authority employees who were involved in the alleged incident are assigned. The Authority may, in its discretion, provide an escort to Tony Aiken upon entering or leaving its property. ARBITRATOR STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NASSAU I, Howard C. Edelman, Esq., do hereby affirm upon my oath as Arbitrator that I am the individual described in and who executed this instrument, which is my Award.