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H. K. PORTER CO. v. UNITED SAW

May 10, 1963

H. K. PORTER COMPANY, Inc.
v.
UNITED SAW, FILE AND STEEL PRODUCTS WORKERS OF AMERICA, FEDERAL LABOR UNION NO. 22254, AFL-CIO



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, JR.

Arbitration of grievances had been orered by this Court as the outcome of Civil Action No. 27077, captioned United Saw, File and Steel Products Workers of America, Federal Labor Union No. 22254, AFL-CIO by Joseph Adair, President and Trustee ad litem v. H. K. Porter Company, Disston Division, 190 F.Supp. 407 (E.D.Pa.1960). Since there will be repeated references to the opinion in that case, the following abbreviated caption will be used: United Saw Workers v. H. K. Porter.

Following the arbitration thus ordered, plaintiff brought the present action seeking to have vacated and declared void a part of the arbitrator's award. Defendant filed an answer and counterclaim asking enforcement of the arbitrator's award. Conceding that no questions of fact are involved, both parties have moved for summary judgment.

 Judicial notice is taken of the files and prior proceedings of this Court in this matter. Further in the interest of brevity, the heretofore cited opinion of this Court in pertinent part is herein incorporated by reference: United Saw Workers v. H. K. Porter, 190 F.Supp. 407 (E.D.Pa. 1960). Although the parties were reversed in the prior proceedings, in that the former defendant is the present plaintiff, the entities before the Court are the same. For convenience they will hereafter be called Porter and Union respectively.

 These controversies are connected with a certain manufacturing plant, in the Tacony section of Philadelphia, which was for many years operated by Henry Disston & Sons, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation. That corporation, whose assets are now the property of Porter, will hereafter be called Disston. The factory in question will be spoken of as the Tacony plant.

 In November, 1955, in exchange for Porter stock, Porter acquired substantially all Disston assets, subject to liabilities. Porter stresses in argument the fact that it did not acquire the stock or corporate entity of Disston. Thus, it says, there is no legal connection between Disston and Porter. As will be seen, however, that circumstance does not affect the ruling of this Court. It is well to note, however, that the bare statement 'no legal connection' does not tell the whole story. At pages 11 and 12 of his opinion the arbitrator found in substance that Porter did agree to abide by the pension 'plan' in the Disston agreement with the Union and to continue to pay all 'pensions' theretofore paid by Disston.

 Since November, 1955, Porter's 'Disston Division' has operated the business of manufacturing saws and hand tools, previously carried on at the former Disston plants, including that at Tacony.

 Three recitals from the former opinion state further background of the reference to arbitration, United Saw Workers v. H. K. Porter, 190 F.Supp. 407, 408 (E.D.Pa.1960):

 '(4) The plaintiff and defendant are parties to a collective bargaining Agreement dated September 15, 1957 and extended by a Supplemental Agreement dated September 15, 1958.

 '(5) In February of 1959, the defendant announced that it intended to move a large part of its production facilities from its Tacony plant to a plant in Danville, Virginia.

 '(6) Subsequent to the Company's announcement of its intent to move its plant, the Union and the Company had discussions of severance pay for employees affected and the pension rights of employees who would be laid off as a result of the move. No agreement was reached on these subjects.'

 In the cited opinion, it was held that these disputes were arbitrable. Appeal followed as to the form of order directing arbitration and finally, by direction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the following order was issued by this Court:

 'And now to wit, this 11th day of April, 1961, it is hereby ordered and decreed that the plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment in the above matter be, and the same is hereby Granted, and that Summary Judgment is hereby entered in favor of plaintiff, United Saw, File and Steel Products Workers of America, Federal Labor Union No. 22254, AFL-CIO, and that defendant is hereby ORDERED to conform and comply with Sections III and IV of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between itself and the plaintiff, to select an Impartial Chairman and to submit to arbitration, subject to the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the grievances with respect to pensions and severance pay insofar as such grievances arise under the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and constitute claimed violations thereof. * * *'

 In due course arbitration took place, culminating in the Award of Arbitrator dated August 17, 1962. W. Roy Buchwalter, Impartial Chairman, accompanied his award with a comprehensive opinion. There has been no suggestion of any procedural informality in the arbitration proceedings which led up to the award and opinion. Plaintiff's sole ...


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