'Although the Union's request is not granted the Arbitrator strongly suggests, for humane reasons and in the interest of good industrial relations, that Company and Union representatives sit down again and make a sincere and intelligent effort to arrive at an agreement with respect to severance pay for those terminated as a result of the Danville move.'
Thus the Arbitrator reluctantly denied the Union's claims for severance pay on the ground that he had no authority to make such award under the collective bargaining agreement. It is therefore abundantly clear that the Arbitrator was indeed aware of the limitations upon his authority.
As to the pension claims, he nevertheless found authorization to grant the Union demands. The Court order of reference to arbitration heretofore quoted specifies that the arbitration is to deal with grievances as to pensions insofar as covered by the collective bargaining agreement.
The positions of the Union and Porter are set out with care in the Arbitrator's opinion, commencing respectively at pages 5 and 7; then at page 9 the positions of both are summarized. His ruling on the pension phase consists of five closely written pages in his opinion commencing at page 11. To say the least for that discussion, it is in no possible sense vulnerable to attack on the ground that it is capricious or arbitrary.
Controversy centered about the following:
'Section XX, Pensions, Paragraph C. Eligibility, September, 1957 contract, provides: 'Basic yearly pension allowance (without Social Security) which shall be paid a retired employee who has reached the age of sixty-five with at least twenty-five years of continuous service with the Company. * * *' (Joint Exhibit #2).'
Thereafter the Arbitrator considers other provisions in the same and later contracts which bear upon the interpretation of that clause. He also takes into consideration the practice which had prevailed as to interpretation of the clause above quoted saying:
'A study of the exhibits submitted at the Arbitration hearings indicates that in numerous cases over the years, it was the practice of the Pension Board to abide by the spirit of the eligibility clause, rather than by the wording of the clause. If the Pension Board had adhered literally to the letter of the provision it would have turned down a number of requests for pensions.
'In December, 1951, the Pension Board granted a pension to Fred Zitkovitz. The Board stated: 'Mr. Zitkovitz has broken service and does not qualify for a pension under the 25 years continuous employment provision. The Board, however, has made an exception in this case in view of the 37 years accumulated service and also in view of his age.' (Union Exhibit 4k).'
After reviewing about twenty cases of that nature, the Arbitrator reached the conclusion that those precedents should be followed, and wrote his award accordingly. This he had a right to do -- and in so deciding, this Court arrives at the limit of its own authority. The matter of arbitrability is not an open one, having been settled several years ago. United Saw Workers v. H. K. Porter, 190 F.Supp. 407 (E.D.Pa.1960); see order of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, No. 13439, March 24, 1961 and order of this Court April 11, 1961. This Court finds that arbitration under that authorization took place, and that the award of the arbitrator was within the scope of arbitration under the order of court heretofore cited. It is not now open to a court to reweigh the merits of the grievance. General Drivers, etc., Local Union No. 89 v. Riss and Company, 372 U.S. 517, 83 S. Ct. 789, 791, 9 L. Ed. 2d 918 (March 18, 1963).
For the foregoing reasons, the Motion for Summary Judgment of plaintiff Porter is hereby denied, and the Motion for Summary Judgment of defendant Union is hereby granted, and it is so ordered.
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