statute. These statutes generally prescribe a uniform standard of three months in which a motion to vacate the award must be made.
Because plaintiff largely relies upon grounds afforded by both the federal and the Pennsylvania statute for vacating the award, it is appropriate that their three month limitation be applied. Both provisions are consistent with the policy of national labor law. Under federal labor law, the award was reviewable only to the extent provided for in the Pennsylvania and federal arbitration acts.
If, as plaintiff suggests, there are no material facts distinguishing this case from that of Keller v. Local 249, 423 Pa. 353, 223 A. 2d 724 (1966), we are compelled to the same conclusion as was the court in Keller. It was there held that absent any agreement that the Pennsylvania General Arbitration Act was to apply, then the rules of common law arbitration were applicable. While under the Pennsylvania General Arbitration Act broad judicial review of the award is permitted, common law arbitration may be reviewed only for fraud, misconduct or corruption. The complaint in this case makes no clear allegation of these elements, and thus, as in Keller, fails to set forth a cause of action cognizable at common law.
Whether or not the Plaintiff has properly filed a complaint seeking equitable relief is a matter that has not been raised here. Because the contract here called for final and binding arbitration, this court has no authority to construe the contract. We can only review the arbitration process to the extent provided by arbitration acts or the common law of arbitration. Procedurally, therefore, the action can only be brought as a petition to vacate the arbitration award. Wingate Construction Co. v. Schweizer Dipple, Inc., 419 Pa. 74, 213 A. 2d 275 (1965); Keller v. Local 249, supra.
Despite Plaintiff's assertion, it is not suing Defendant to enforce a contract under Sec. 301. The contract calls for final and binding arbitration, and the parties have removed the contract from the court's consideration. Plaintiff rather seeks equitable relief from the effects of that contract. The defendant pleads that a delay of thirteen months before seeking relief and asking that employees' grievances be relitigated subjects it to substantial prejudice, and that the plaintiff should be barred under the doctrine of laches. We believe that the prejudice to defendant is real and substantial, and that federal labor policy favoring the early settlement of disputes supports its application, as well as the general policy pervading the arbitration statutes, the Uniform Laws, the Pennsylvania Act and the federal act, which prescribe a three months limitation on proceedings to vacate an arbitration award. We believe that the plaintiff is barred by its failure to bring this action in a timely manner, and that the three month limit of the Pennsylvania General Arbitration Act and the Federal Arbitration Act provide an appropriate and uniform standard of limitation upon proceedings seeking to vacate an arbitration award made under a collective bargaining agreement which provides for final and binding arbitration.
The complaint will be dismissed.
And now this 6th day of April, 1973, the Motion of Defendant to Dismiss is GRANTED, and the within Complaint is ordered dismissed.
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