A manufacturer of medical devices established a new rule eliminating employees’ smoking privileges in locker rooms, restrooms and hallway areas and restricting smoking to lunch rooms during rest and lunch periods. The union filed a grievance, contending that smoking is a past practice that hasHere been in existence for years. The Company argued that the smoking rule is not a negotiable item and that it is within management’s prerogative to designate the areas wherein smoking may be permitted. An arbitrator ruled that the rule is valid, noting that the motivation for making the revision was not discriminatory, the smoking privilege does not have the quality of an employee benefit and the elimination of previously existing smoking areas results in efficiency of operations and in prevention of potential fire hazards.
72 LA 258 (1979).