It should be further noted that although Local 7-P was aware of the construction of the Atglen plant, plaintiff never suggested any relevance of this new facility to the collective bargaining agreement at the time when it was negotiated on February 19, 1970. Moreover, since the expiration on February 29, 1972 of the previous Parade-Local 7-P contract and the beginning of negotiations for a new contract between Parade and plaintiff, the union has concerned itself only with the working conditions of the photoengraving unit of employees at the Parade plant and has not inquired into the status of the employees at Atglen.
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. 543, 546-547, 84 S. Ct. 909, 912-913, 11 L. Ed. 2d 898 (1964); Boys Markets, Inc. v. Retail Clerks Union, Local 770, 398 U.S. 235, 253-254, 90 S. Ct. 1583, 1594, 26 L. Ed. 2d 199 (1970); Avco Corp. v. Local Union #787 of the International Union, U.A., A. & A. Imp. Wkrs., 459 F.2d 968, 973 (3rd Cir. 1972).
The precise question raised in this litigation has been previously decided by the Third Circuit adversely to the plaintiff union. Local 464, American Bakery and C. Wkrs. I.U. v. Hershey Chocolate Corp., 266 F. Supp. 276 (M.D. Pa. 1967), 310 F. Supp. 1182 (M.D. Pa. 1970), aff'd. per cur. 433 F.2d 926 (3rd Cir. 1970).
In Hershey, supra, the Court concluded that the parent corporation, Hershey, which was a party to a collective bargaining agreement with Local 464, did not have to arbitrate the union's claim for recognition of the employees of Hershey's subsidiary, Reese Candy Company, even though the union contended that the subsidiary's operations had been "increasingly integrated" with the operations of Hershey. The arbitration clause in Hershey, as in the instant case, was drawn in very broad terms. In the former, "any matters which an employee may desire to discuss and adjust with the Employer" could be arbitrated, as opposed to the language provided in the instant clause: "All questions of difference concerning an interpretation of this Agreement and all questions arising between the Employer and his employee . . . which cannot be amicably adjusted in conciliation, shall be submitted to an Arbitration Committee. . . ."
In construing the language of the arbitration clause in Hershey, supra, the Court stated:
"* * * It is perfectly obvious that the phrase 'any matters' is subject to the good faith limitation that the 'matters' in question be related to the employer-employee relationship as that relationship is set forth in the aforementioned bargaining agreement since (1) the clause only refers to the employee and the employer and (2) the conjunctive is used to join 'discuss' and 'adjust', thus implying that the matter must be within the employer's power to correct. Here, the plaintiff seeks to include within the ambit of the agreement another corporation and another set of employees and have this other corporation and other employees, who, incidentally, within the past year voted not to be represented by this very Union, covered by the Hershey contract. By no stretch of imagination could this be found to contain something that a Hershey employee may in good faith ask the employer to 'discuss and adjust'. It is completely outside of the employer-employee relationship which paragraph 9 was designed to protect." 266 F. Supp. at 277.