The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUSEN
Plaintiff in this action commenced suit alleging that, at all times material to this suit, it was the exclusive bargaining representative of the production and maintenance employees of the defendant. In January 1963, pursuant to the contract between the parties, an arbitration proceeding was instituted to consider the to resolve this grievance. This means hearing (March 1963) and before effect by the court. at a settlement which they accepted in settlement agreement made by the parties This suit is to enforce payment of the sum agreed upon at that settlement.
Defendant has filed a Motion to Dismiss (Document 2), claiming that this court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the suit, since the suit was peculiarly for the benefit of one employee. The Motion must be denied, since the court does have jurisdiction over the subject matter under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C.A. § 185 (hereinafter referred to as ' § 301').
The settlement agreement was a contract between the defendant employer and the plaintiff union under § 301, which provides that 'Suits for violation of contracts between an employer and a labor organization * * * may be brought in any district court of the United States * * *.'
'If this kind of strike settlement were not enforceable under § 301(a), responsible and stable labor relations would suffer, and the attainment of the labor policy objective of minimizing disruption of interstate commerce would be made more difficult. It is no answer that in a particular case the agreement might be enforceable in state courts: a main goal of § 301 was precisely to end 'checkerboard jurisdiction,' * * *.'
Since this is a suit based on such a settlement agreement, the reasoning relied on in defendant's Reply Brief filed November 13, 1963, is inapposite.
Had this agreement been the arbitrator's award, even though it could be characterized as 'uniquely personal' or 'peculiar to the individual,' the court could enforce the award.
Defendant's obligation is to pay a certain union member the sum agreed upon as settlement. Obligations similar to this have been enforced by the courts
and the adjective phrases quoted above have been held not to be bars to jurisdiction under § 301.
The policy of the Supreme Court is to give effect to the method chosen by the parties to resolve their labor disputes. Recently, in enforcing a ruling of a committee used by the union and by management to settle their disputes, the court said:
'If * * * the award of the Joint Area Cartage Committee is under the collective bargaining agreement final and binding, the District Court has jurisdiction under § 301 to enforce it, notwithstanding our Westinghouse decision ( Association of Westinghouse Salaried Employees v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 348 U.S. 437, 75 S. Ct. 489, 99 L. Ed. 510) * * * It is not enough that the word 'arbitration' does not appear in the collective bargaining agreement, for we have held that the policy of the Labor Act 'can be effectuated only if the means chosen by the parties for the settlement of their differences under a collective bargaining agreement is given full play.' * * * Thus, if the award at bar is the parties' chosen instrument for the definitive settlement of grievances under the Agreement, it is enforceable under § 301.'
Here, an award by the arbitrator would have been final and binding
and so is the settlement agreement reached in lieu of the arbitrator's decision, since this is the means chosen by the parties to resolve this grievance. This means of settling the dispute should be given effect by the court.
And now, November 18, 1963, it is ordered that defendant's Motion to Dismiss ...