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Arbitrator to decide Watertown town employee’s grievance

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A highway employee’s grievance against the town of Watertown is headed to arbitration after a hearing at Thursday’s Town Council meeting was canceled.

Last summer, Michael Smith, a mobile equipment operator, was suspended for two weeks following an accident in June with a town pickup truck.

On Thursday night, Matthew E. Shaw, business agent for International Brotherhood of the Teamster’s Local 687, canceled the hearing after he unsuccessfully requested the hearing take place in executive session. The Town Council members said there was no basis for an executive session. Afterward, Mr. Shaw said he intended to take the case to arbitration. He had no other comment.

Mr. Smith was involved in an accident when the pickup he was driving struck some wires at the town’s gravel pit, town officials said. He then filed a grievance with the union.

A hearing was scheduled for July, but Mr. Smith failed to attend.

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