performs maintenance and repair work on its barges. The employees at that terminal constituted a bargaining unit, represented by the petitioning United Steelworkers, and were covered by a collective bargaining contract negotiated by the petitioner union. Between 1956 and 1958 the terminal laid off about half of the employees of the bargaining unit. That reduction was due in part to Warrior's contracting-out certain maintenance work, formerly done by its own employees, to other companies.
On behalf of a group of terminal employees the petitioner presented a grievance protesting the Company's actions in contracting-out that work, alleged to have the effect of a partial lockout. The opinion continues:
'The collective agreement had both a 'no strike' and a 'no lockout' provision. It also had a grievance procedure which provided in relevant part as follows
'* * * matters which are strictly a function of management shall not be subject to arbitration under this section.'
The further provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, providing for references to arbitration if the matter cannot be settled at lower echelons, are prefaced by the following language:
'Should differences arise between the Company and the Union or its members employed by the Company as to the meaning and application of the provisions of this Agreement, or should any local trouble of any kind arise. * * *'
When the grievance was not settled, and Warrior refused arbitration, this suit was commenced by the union to compel it.
The District Court granted respondent's motion to dismiss the complaint, 168 F.Supp. 702, 705, on the principal ground that
'the contracting out of repair and maintenance work * * * is strictly a function of management not limited in any respect by the labor agreement involved here.'
The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed, the majority agreeing that the matter was an excluded 'function of management.' 269 F.2d 633, 635.
The opinion of the Court by Mr. Justice Douglas commences by restating the principles of the Lincoln Mills case approving federal enforcement of the provision for arbitration of grievances in a collective bargaining agreement. Textile Workers Union of America v. Lincoln Mills, 1957, 353 U.S. 448, 77 S. Ct. 912, 1 L. Ed. 2d 972.
The language of Mr. Justice Douglas makes clear that all doubts are to be resolved in favor of arbitrability. Arbitration would be compelled unless it can be said with positive assurance that the arbitration clause is not susceptible to an interpretation that covers the dispute.
The mandate of this decision of the United States Supreme Court seems clear as applied to the present case. The contract involved in Warrior specified as not arbitrable matters 'strictly a function of management'. In the instant case 'broad labor policies' are likewise excluded. If contracting work to outside plants was not a function of management, it seems evident that the present disputes are not exempt from arbitration as 'broad labor policies.'
The provisions of the respective contracts as to that which is arbitrable in Warrior and the Disston collective bargaining agreement are virtually identical.
In the instant case, the arbitration clause is quite broad, and the quoted clause and another reference to non-arbitrable matters are both quite vague. The Warrior opinion is replete with language which requires arbitration in such case, of which the following passage is an example:
'* * * In the absence of any express provision excluding a particular grievance from arbitration, we think only the most forceful evidence of a purpose of exclude the claim from arbitration can prevail, particularly where, as here, the exclusion clause is vague and the arbitration clause quite broad * * *' Ibid., 80 S. Ct. 1354.
For the foregoing reasons, it is the ruling of this Court that the plaintiff is entitled to Judgment on its motion for summary judgment and an appropriate order may be submitted.
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