The opinion of the court was delivered by: HIGGINBOTHAM
Jurisdiction of this court is predicated on Section 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a).
The facts can be briefly summarized as follows:
The plaintiff Philadelphia Lithographers and Photoengravers' International Union, Local 7-P is a union representing employees in the photoengraving industry, including 32 of the approximately 158 employees of defendant Parade Publications, Inc.
Parade, a corporation with offices located at 511 North Broad Street, in Philadelphia, is engaged in the rotogravure photoengraving industry, publishing a Sunday newspaper supplement entitled "Parade", pursuant to contract with various newspapers.
Over a number of years, Local 7-P and the photoengraving-unit employees at Parade have conducted joint collective bargaining negotiations with the photoengraving-unit employees at the Triangle Publications, Inc. plant at 440 North Broad Street, which is located directly across the street from Parade's plant. Any agreements reached between Local 7-P, on the one hand, and Parade and Triangle on the other, have been ratified by a joint vote of the photoengraving-unit employees at those two Philadelphia plants.
The Gravure Division of Triangle had entered into a collective bargaining agreement with Local 7-P, which was in full force and effect from August 15, 1969 to February 29, 1972. On February 19, 1970, Local 7-P and Parade, in recognition of the foregoing agreement between Triangle and plaintiff, executed an agreement adopting the same terms and provisions for Parade's photoengraving-unit employees as negotiated for the Gravure Division of Triangle, except that certain features of the pension plan for Parade were different.
Among the provisions contained in the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by plaintiff and Triangle (and similarly agreed to by Parade) were clauses relating to union recognition,
new machines or processes,
The approximately 158 employees at Atglen are represented by the International Brotherhood of Pulp, Sulphite and Papermill Workers, Local Union 185, pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement with Diversified entered into on December 7, 1970. The agreement is for three years, remaining in effect until November 6, 1973, and from year to year thereafter unless terminated by 60-day notice of either party.
The Parade plant prints only Parade Magazine, except for occasional printing of advertising flyers for customers of newspapers which use the Parade Magazine supplement. Parade prints in Philadelphia approximately 33 percent of its weekly publication and contracts out the remainder of its weekly printing requirements to various plants: 28 percent to Standard Gravure, Louisville, Kentucky; 22 percent to Diversified; and 17 percent to Gravure West, Los Angeles, California. At all times relevant hereto, Parade has dealt with Diversified in the same manner as it, Parade, has transacted with other third-party printers to whom it contracts out the printing of its magazines. Diversified's printing of Parade magazines is done at a profit to Diversified in accordance with a contract establishing a price schedule. Diversified additionally prints more copies of Family Weekly, a magazine in competition with Parade, than it does copies of Parade Magazine.
In view of the aforementioned facts plaintiff's complaint alleges that: the Atglen plant is an expansion of Parade's facilities; that the employees at Diversified perform the same work as employees at Parade's Philadelphia plant; that the collective bargaining agreement between Local 7-P and Parade includes those employees at Diversified; and, finally, at a minimum, Parade should be compelled to submit plaintiff's claim for union recognition of Diversified's employees to arbitration in accordance with the arbitration clause of their collective bargaining agreement. Parade has steadfastly refused to arbitrate these particular contentions.
Since 1957 when the United States Supreme Court decided Textile Workers v. Lincoln Mills, 353 U.S. 448, 455, 77 S. Ct. 912, 917, 1 L. Ed. 2d 972 (1957), federal courts have been obligated by § 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 to enforce the arbitration provisions of collective bargaining agreements. The Court there recognized the agreement of the employer to arbitrate particular grievances as being the quid pro quo for the correlative agreement of the union not to strike over the same grievances.
In subsequent cases, the federal courts have been additionally assigned the responsibility for initially determining whether the parties have contractually agreed to arbitrate the contested grievances and if the arbitration clause on its face governs those disputes. United Steelworkers of America v. American Mfg. Co., 363 U.S. 564, 567-568, 80 S. Ct. 1343, 1346, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1403 (1960). It is not the court's role to make an independent examination of the merits of the dispute. Id. Moreover, before the court can deny an order to arbitrate it must have "positive assurance that the arbitration clause is not susceptible of an interpretation that covers the asserted dispute," resolving any doubts in favor of coverage. United Steelworkers of America v. Warrior and Gulf Navigation Co., 363 U.S. 574, 581-583, 80 S. Ct. 1347, 1353, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1409 (1960). Accord, e.g., United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel and Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 80 S. Ct. 1358, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1424 (1960); Atkinson v. Sinclair Refining Co., 370 U.S. 238, 241, 82 S. Ct. 1318, 1320-1321, 8 L. Ed. 2d 462 (1962);
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Livingston, 376 U.S. ...