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Casket Co. Inc. v. United Steel Workers of America

August 26, 2008

CASKET COMPANY, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STEEL WORKERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL UNION NO. 9137, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Mattice

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Batesville Casket Company, Inc. ("Company") brings the above-captioned against Defendant United Steel Workers of America, Local Union No. 9137 ("Union") pursuant to § 301 of the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185. The Company seeks to vacate a portion of a labor arbitration award issued against it. Before the Court are the Company's Motion for Summary Judgment [Court Doc. 64] and the Union's Motion for Enforcement of Arbitration Award [Court Doc. 27], which the Court will treat as a motion for summary judgment.

I. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper where "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must view the facts contained in the record and all inferences that can be drawn from those facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.

Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Nat'l Satellite Sports, Inc. v. Eliadis Inc., 253 F.3d 900, 907 (6th Cir. 2001). The Court cannot weigh the evidence, judge the credibility of witnesses, or determine the truth of any matter in dispute. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).

The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating that no genuine issue of material fact exists. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). To refute such a showing, the nonmoving party must present some significant, probative evidence indicating the necessity of a trial for resolving a material factual dispute. Id. at 322. A mere scintilla of evidence is not enough. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; McLean v. Ontario, Ltd., 224 F.3d 797, 800 (6th Cir. 2000). The Court's role is limited to determining whether the case contains sufficient evidence from which a jury could reasonably find for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-49; Nat'l Satellite Sports, 253 F.3d at 907. If the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of its case with respect to which it has the burden of proof, the moving party is entitled to summary judgment. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. If the Court concludes that a fair-minded jury could not return a verdict in favor of the nonmoving party based on the evidence presented, it may enter a summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52; Lansing Dairy, Inc. v. Espy, 39 F.3d 1339, 1347 (6th Cir. 1994).

II. FACTS

Except as otherwise noted, the facts set forth below are not in contention.

The Company and the Union have entered into successive collective bargaining agreements ("CBAs") pursuant to the NLRA. The first CBA relevant to the instant action, the 1999 CBA, expired on September 4, 2005. (Court Doc. 17-3, 1999 CBA art. 21.) The 1999 CBA was in force when the grievances at issue here were submitted and when the occurrences which gave rise to these grievances transpired. The 1999 CBA provides, in pertinent part:

ARTICLE 4

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Section 4.02. Grievance Procedure. A grievance shall be settled as follows: . . . .

Step 4. . . . . [In the event the grievance is submitted to arbitration, t]he arbitrator's power is limited to deciding whether the company has violated a specific promise in this Agreement.

Section 4.04. Arbitration Hearings. Each arbitration hearing shall deal with not more than one grievance except by mutual written agreement of the Company and the Union.

Section 4.05. Exclusive Remedy. The procedure for the resolution of a grievance set forth in this Article is exclusive. . . . .

ARTICLE 21

DURATION, CHANGE, RENEWAL OF ...


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