to the extent of the bond and recoverable by the Company.
In granting the injunction, the Court is not endorsing the procedural delay which the Union occasioned. The recent Supreme Court holding in International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, AFL-CIO v. Flair Builders, Inc., 406 U.S. 487, 32 L. Ed. 2d 248, 92 S. Ct. 1710, (1972), does not preclude this Court from a consideration of the doctrine of laches when sitting in judgment on a motion for a preliminary injunction.
The Company had made prior announcements as early as 1969 that it intended to move corporate headquarters, but those announcements were not really decisive, nor was the move definite or inevitable. In looking at the delay the Court feels the Union was on actual notice of the impending move, as opposed to prior speculative discussions, as early as March 1, 1972. The move at this time may still have been speculative as far as the Union was concerned, and it is understandable why a grievance was not filed at that time. Between the meeting of March 23, 1972, among the Company's principal labor relations managers and the Union's Grievance and Negotiating Committee, and March 27, 1972, when employees were given an opportunity to indicate in writing whether or not they wished to exercise their right to transfer, the Union was made aware of the Company's firm intention to move. The harm had become apparent, but may not have become imminent at this time. It is more realistic to view the harm as becoming imminent sometime between the March 27, 1972 letters to employees, and the Company's letter of May 25th formally stating its intentions in detail. The Union has indicated that the time for filing of the grievance was June 8, 1972 when notice of lay-off was given to the employees by the Company. We do not intend to draw any legal conclusions as to the proper time of filing the grievance, but do feel the Union could have acted more expeditiously in filing the grievance.
The Union's delay, however, does not reach the level which would tip the scale of conveniences and cause this Court to deny a preliminary injunction. The Company, it must be noted, could have forced the grievance procedure, had it issued the lay-off notices well in advance of the June 16, 1972 moving date rather than on June 8, 1972. In the light of the irreparable harm that an unknown number of people may be likely to incur if they are denied employment or victimized by bumping in breach of the collective bargaining agreement, the Union's delay, though not exemplary, would not be such as to bar the issuance of a preliminary injunction.
The last point which this Court feels is relevant to the issues presented is one of policy. It is the duty of the Courts to fashion from the policy of our national labor laws a Federal substantive law to apply in suits under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Textile Workers Union v. Lincoln Mills, 353 U.S. 448, 456, 77 S. Ct. 912, 1 L. Ed. 2d 972 (1957).
The Budd Company has in essence put the "cart before the horse". The Company has followed a course of conduct which seems to indicate that they will move the corporate headquarters first and worry about arbitration and the collective bargaining agreement later. This is not the policy of our national labor laws. The policy as set forth in the Steelworkers Trilogy, supra, is to encourage the peaceful settlement of labor disputes through arbitration. If the Court has the power to order specific performance of a contract covenant to arbitrate, it has the collateral power to take steps that would prevent rendering the result of the arbitration futile and ineffective. See Local Division 1098, Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric, Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America, AFL-CIO v. Eastern Greyhound Lines, 225 F. Supp. 28 (1963). We are firmly committed to that policy of promoting settlements of labor disputes through arbitration, and that policy can be further effectuated here by the granting of a preliminary injunction.
Lastly, the granting of injunctive relief restraining defendant company's action pending a determination by the arbitrator of the right of defendant to pursue such action under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement would not contravene the policy of the Norris-La Guardia Act, 29 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. Boys Markets, Inc. v. Retail Clerks Union Local, 770, 398 U.S. 235, 90 S. Ct. 1583, 26 L. Ed. 2d 199 (1970).
The Court has the firm intention to do everything in its power to expedite the final arbitration of this grievance without in any way modifying, or impinging on the collective bargaining agreement, nor denying either party the benefit of its bargain in entering into such agreement. The parties have both asserted that they will do everything possible to expedite the ultimate resolution of this controversy. The Court, on its own investigation, has determined that an ultimate resolution can be had within fifteen (15) days of the entry of its Order and there is no reason why that should not be done. Time is of critical essence to the Company and the adjudicating process must be made equal to the challenge which this controversy presents. A preliminary injunction will issue for that duration of time.
Conclusions of Law
1. This Court has jurisdiction over the plaintiff's cause of action and the relief sought thereunder, by virtue of the provisions of Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended, 28 U.S.C. § 185.
2. The grievance filed in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement is arbitrable.
3. The parties are prepared to pursue the grievance through all steps of the grievance procedure up to and including arbitration, as provided for in the collective bargaining agreement, and in an expedited manner in order to avoid unnecessary delay.
4. Plaintiff has established to the satisfaction of the Court that its members will suffer irreparable harm if an injunction is not granted pending arbitration of the grievances.
5. Plaintiff is entitled to an order enjoining the defendant from laying-off the fourteen employees given notice effective June 16, 1972 who would be affected by the transfer of work provided the Union posts a bond as will be prescribed by this Court until the ultimate disposition of the controversy by arbitration.
And now, to wit, this 15th day of June, 1972, it is hereby ORDERED that The Budd Company be preliminarily enjoined from laying-off fourteen employees who would be affected by the transfer of work to Troy, Michigan, and given notice effective June 16, 1972, for a time period of fifteen (15) days from the entry of this Order.
It is further ordered that the plaintiff shall post a bond in the amount of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) as security for economic losses the Company may incur if the Company shall prevail at arbitration.
It is so ordered.