In re: VME Americas, Inc. and Auto Workers Local 70

A company adopted a smoking ban for its entire premises, including “adjacent areas such as grounds and parking lots.”  The union representative was told what the rule was and, according to the arbitrator, “had no genuine opportunity to make suggestions about it.  This was in violation of the contract language requiring consultation.”  The arbitrator also found that, regarding the plant where welding commonly occurred, it “was reasonable for Management to conclude that designated areas would not meet the standards of safety desirable for the plant.”  So, the arbitrator ruled that the “smoking ban announced by the Company in July of 1990 is reasonable as applied inside Company buildings but is unreasonable and in violation of Section 106 [of the collective bargaining agreement] as applied to outside areas.”

97 LA 137 (1991).