Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
SOUTHERN COUNCIL OF INDUS. WORKERS v. BRUCE HARDWO
February 11, 1992
SOUTHERN COUNCIL OF INDUSTRIAL WORKERS, UNITED BROTHERHOOD OF CARPENTERS & JOINERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, and UNITED BROTHERHOOD OF CARPENTERS UNION, LOCAL 2825
BRUCE HARDWOOD FLOORS
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN T. NIXON
Pending before the Court in the above styled action are the respective motions of the plaintiffs and defendant for summary judgment. The parties are signatories to a collective bargaining agreement under which an employee of the defendant, Bruce Hardwood Floors (the Company), brought a grievance proceeding that eventually lead to arbitration. The plaintiffs, Southern Council of Industrial Workers, United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America, AFL-CIO, and United Brotherhood of Carpenters Union, Local 2825 (the Unions), filed this suit on behalf of the employee to enforce the arbitrator's award in favor of the employee. The Company filed a cross-complaint seeking to vacate the award which alleged that, in ruling in favor of the employee, the arbitrator exceeded the authority granted to her under the collective bargaining agreement. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that the arbitrator exceeded her authority under the collective bargaining agreement because her interpretation of the procedural due process aspects of the agreement's "just cause" language is not derived from the essence of the agreement. Thus, the Court grants summary judgment for the defendant and vacates the arbitrator's award.
Lee A. Garrett was an employee of the defendant Company and his employment was covered by a collective bargaining agreement in effect presently and for all times material to this action.
Certain sections of that agreement provide for disciplinary actions and grievance procedures.
Section 1 of Article XXVI of that agreement states, inter alia, that the Company has "the right to maintain discipline and to discharge employees for just cause." Def. Ex. 1 at 38 (emphasis added). Section 3 of Article XXVI provides in pertinent part:
The Company may take action against an employee based upon conduct which warrants immediate discharge, or for other conduct, while less serious, which initially warrants less severe discipline.
(a) An employee may be discharged immediately without prior warning for the following or similar reasons:
8. Being insubordinate or disobedient;
18. Failure or refusal to do assigned work
20. Leaving the plant during working time without the permission of the department supervisor. . . .
Id. at 39 (emphasis added).
Section 1 of Article XIII sets out a three-step grievance procedure for "any employee having a complaint concerning the interpretation or application of any provision of *fn2"
The second step entails a review of the grievance by the department superintendent and the plant manager. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily in the first two steps, the third step mandates a meeting between the general manager, the union grievance committee and a representative of the aggrieved employee. Id. at 22-23. Finally, in the event of a still unsettled grievance, the parties may refer the matter to arbitration under article XIV of the collective bargaining agreement. Id. at 24.
Article XIV dictates that "no arbitrator shall have the authority to add to, amend, or depart from the terms of this ...
Buy This Entire Record For