Conductor fired for safety issues disparaging remarks Canadian Pacific Railway

first_imgCALGARY – Canadian Pacific Railway says a conductor involved in a 2014 derailment was fired for a second time because she disparaged the company and was photographed in unsafe situations.Stephanie Katelnikoff was sent an evidence package before her dismissal in November. The package — which was provided to The Canadian Press — had screen grabs of her Facebook and Instagram profiles that include several revealing modelling photos.While many photos in the package showed Katelnikoff nude or in lingerie, CP Rail said in a statement Wednesday that her termination only concerned ones that were related in some way to railway safety and the company.Some of the shots show her in cutoff jean shorts and a midriff-bearing top posing on railway tracks.“Railway safety is a top priority at CP,” the railway said. “Ms. Katelnikoff’s termination related to her decision to post photos of herself in unsafe situations on railway property and equipment, committing railway safety violations, along with disparaging remarks regarding the company.”The investigation package had online comments that included a 2016 Facebook post under the name Steph Kat that calls the railway’s code of ethics a “short fictional comedy.”Another profile under the name Stevie Rae says: “Resumé: Google Banff train crash,” followed by a laughing emoji.The package also included a warning letter from August 2016 regarding a YouTube video by Katelnikoff that she says was meant to be an open letter to then-CEO Hunter Harrison.“Stephanie, your conduct in posting the YouTube video not only displayed gross insubordination and insolence, but also constituted a serious breach of CP’s Code of Business Ethics,” the warning letter read.CP Rail says it doesn’t normally comment on individual cases, but wanted to clarify the reasons for Katelnikoff’s firing because she had spoken out publicly.Katelnikoff has said she was shocked at how painstakingly the company had combed through her social media profiles and didn’t understand what her risque photos had to do with her ability to do her job.The railway said Katelnikoff has brought a grievance to her union and will receive a hearing through that process.Katelnikoff said Wednesday that she doesn’t buy the railway’s explanation.“I call shenanigans,” she said in an email. “I don’t know why the investigating officer would’ve commented on the rest of my photos, why they would’ve even been included in the evidence package, and why they made a general statement regarding my ‘inappropriate social media content’ in the dismissal letter.”On Boxing Day in 2014, a train Katelnikoff was conducting derailed, sending 15 cars off the tracks in Banff, Alta. A product used to make concrete called fly ash, as well as soybeans, spilled into a creek. The Transportation Safety Board determined that a broken piece of track caused the crash.Katelnikoff had some respiratory symptoms from breathing in the ash, but no one was otherwise injured. She was fired a month later and the company said it was because she violated rules around injury reporting and protecting an accident scene.She had been on the job less than six months and later criticized the training she received in the press.In February of 2016, arbitrator Maureen Flynn found in Katelnikoff’s favour, saying the company’s grounds for termination were “discriminatory” and in “bad faith.”(Companies in this story: TSX:CP)last_img

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