In re: Cereal Food Processors Inc. and American Federation of Grain Millers, Local 99

A flour mill imposed a policy prohibiting smoking in all of its buildings without the prior consideration by the safety committee.  An arbitrator ruled that the policy was valid, noting that the collective bargaining contract vested the Company with exclusive rule-making authority.  The union had filed a grievance based on the position that the employees had the right to smoke and that the smoking areas should remain unchanged.  The arbitrator ruled that the Company had a right to be concerned about the risk of fire and that no “individual employee has a right which supersedes the right of others to be free of such hazards.”  Furthermore, the arbitrator ruled, “[t]here is no right to smoke in the workplace protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act or by the U.S. or Kansas Constitutions.”

36 LA 1179 (1991).