the Union with respect to the arbitration proceeding before him, be authorized to:
'(2) Establish or modify any wage or salary rate, job classification or classification of any employe except as provided in Section VIII, Paragraphs 9.D., and 9.E., or any time value under the incentive system;'
Jurisdiction of this controversy arises under § 301(a) of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C.A. § 185(a), which Act vests in the District Courts, inter alia, the power to decree specific performance of arbitration clauses in collective bargaining agreements. Textile Workers Union of Amer. v. Lincoln Mills, 1957, 353 U.S. 448, 77 S. Ct. 912, 1 L. Ed. 2d 972.
With respect to these grievances, the defendant takes the position in effect that inasmuch as a decision in favor of the plaintiff by an arbitrator would of necessity involve the establishment or modification by him of a time value under the incentive system, and since the National Agreement specifically prohibits an arbitrator from establishing or modifying a time value with respect to a proceeding before him, it would be futile and improper to submit these grievances to arbitration.
The plaintiff contends, on the other hand, that the grievances involve the interpretation, application, and claimed violation of the National Agreement; therefore, they are arbitrable under § XIV-A-A(1) of the Agreement and are not rendered any the less so by § XIV-A-D(2) which by its plain wording merely limits the power of an arbitrator with respect to the arbitration proceeding before him.
Our analysis of these disputes leads us to the conclusion that they involve the interpretation, application and claimed violation of provisions of the National Agreement and that, for the reasons set forth below, their resolution by an arbitrator would not necessitate the establishment or modification by him of a time value under the incentive system.
National Appeal Grievance No. 1584.
It seems clear enough that the arbitrator's resolution of the dispute here involved would not necessitate the establishment or modification of a time value under the incentive system.
The plaintiff contends that the recorded time value previously established for Style Y-22070 was intended by the parties to apply to parts of varying size including the size of Style Y-53921, and that the defendant violated the National Agreement by establishing a different time value for Style Y-53921. The defendant contends that the recorded time value for Style Y-22070 was intended to apply only to that part, and therefore the defendant was free to establish a different time value for Style Y-53921.
We offer no opinion on the merits of either contention, but it is obvious that the basic decision here required of an arbitrator is simply whether or not there had been in existence a recorded time value intended by the parties to be applied to a part within the description of Style Y-53921. The arbitrator by finding, as plaintiff argues, that there was such a time value would not be establishing or modifying a time value, but simply declaring that one existed.
National Appeal Grievance No. 1628.
Here plaintiff contends that the defendant violated § VIII-8-E(2)(a) of the National Agreement by following improper procedure in reducing the time value on what had been a three-step manufacturing operation after technical advances made one of the steps unnecessary.
The plaintiff contends in substance that under the above cited section of the National Agreement, when there is a change in the method of manufacture that affects the time value, only that portion of the value affected by the change can be adjusted; in other words, before an adjustment could be made in the changed manufacturing operation here in question a time value had to be in existence or established for the step eliminated. The defendant contends that there had been a time value in existence for the step in question and that the disputed time value was established by simply eliminating the portion previously assigned to the now eliminated step. The plaintiff denies that there had ever been a time value assigned to the step in question and thereby claims that the defendant violated the National Agreement.
Since the grievance involves a claimed violation of the National Agreement, it is initially arbitrable under § XIV-A-A (1) thereof, and unless the limitations contained in § XIV-A-D(2) apply, should be submitted to arbitration.
Reducing the grievance to the ultimate question involved and which would have to be decided by an arbitrator, we find it to be simply a question of fact whether or not there had been in existence a time value assigned to the eliminated step of the manufacturing operation in question. If there had been, and defendant eliminated just that portion, then the arbitrator would simply find in defendant's favor; if there had not been, then the arbitrator would have to interpret the National Agreement to determine whether the defendant had violated it. In neither event would the arbitrator be doing what the National Agreement forbids him to do; viz., establishing or modifying a time value, rather he would be finding as a fact that one existed or that one had not existed.
Conclusions of Law
1. This court has jurisdiction of the parties and subject matter here involved.
2. National Appeal Grievance No. 1584 constitutes an arbitrable dispute under the National Agreement and as such should be submitted to arbitration under that Agreement.
3. National Appeal Grievance No. 1628 constitutes an arbitrable dispute under the National Agreement and as such should be submitted to arbitration under that Agreement.
An appropriate decree will be entered.