The opinion of the court was delivered by: DITTER
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 399 F. Supp.]
AND NOW, this 2nd day of July, 1975, it is ordered that:
1. The Order of June 30, 1975, in the above captioned proceeding is hereby vacated; and
2. after consideration of the memoranda of law submitted in support of and in opposition to plaintiff's motion to vacate the award of the arbitrator and after a careful review of the record of the arbitration proceedings, the motion is hereby refused.
This case comes before the court on a motion to vacate an arbitrator's award in a dispute growing out of plaintiff's discharge by his former employer, one of the defendants. The other defendant, plaintiff's local union, was not involved in this part of the proceedings.
In a prior opinion and order, I granted the employer's motion for summary judgment on condition that (1) the question of the legality of the plaintiff's discharge be submitted to binding and final arbitration under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association before an arbitrator acceptable to plaintiff, and (2) the plaintiff be permitted to argue the merits of his grievance without the advice or assistance of the union or its counsel. See Lucas v. Philco-Ford Corporation, 380 F. Supp. 139 (E.D. Pa. 1974).
Having been set out at length in my previous opinion, the facts giving rise to this suit need not be belabored here. Suffice it to say that after nearly twenty years of employment by Philco-Ford, plaintiff, Joseph Lucas, Jr., was discharged for refusing to accept overtime assignments without having a "reasonable reason" within the meaning of the collective bargaining agreement between his union and employer. After exhausting three steps of the grievance procedure prescribed by the collective bargaining agreement, plaintiff brought suit against his employer for wrongfully discharging him and against his union local for failing to represent him fairly and for conspiring with the company to injure and harass him.
Pursuant to my conditional grant of summary judgment to Philco-Ford,
an arbitrator mutually acceptable to the parties was selected, and on November 21, 1974, a hearing was held in the Philadelphia offices of the American Arbitration Association. On March 3, 1975, the arbitrator issued an opinion and award holding that plaintiff was discharged for good cause and accordingly, denying his grievance. Following an unsuccessful effort to have the matter reconsidered,
plaintiff filed the instant motion to vacate the arbitrator's decision as manifestly contrary to both the facts and the law.
Jurisdiction to review arbitration awards exists in this court pursuant to Section 301(a) of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. § 185(a),
see, e.g., Medo Photo Supply Corp. v. Livingston, 274 F. Supp. 209, 213 (S.D. N.Y.), aff'd, 386 F.2d 451 (2d Cir. 1967); Kracoff v. Retail Clerks Local Union No. 1357, 244 F. Supp. 38, 40 (E.D. Pa. 1965), and Section 10 of the United States Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 10,
see, e.g., Marine Transit Corp. v. Dreyfus, 284 U.S. 263, 275-76, 52 S. Ct. 166, 169, 76 L. Ed. 282 (1932); Monte v. Southern Delaware County Authority, 212 F. Supp. 604, 613 (E.D. Pa.), reversed on other grounds, 321 F.2d 870 (3d Cir. 1963).
Nevertheless, as plaintiff candidly concedes in his memorandum in support of the present motion, reviewing courts traditionally have been reluctant to set aside arbitrator's decisions.
This reluctance is consonant with the strong federal policy favoring the resolution of industrial disputes outside the courts, see, e.g., John Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Livingston, 376 U.S. 543, 84 S. Ct. 909, 11 L. Ed. 2d 898 (1964); United Steelworkers of America v. American Manufacturing Co., 363 U.S. 564, 80 S. Ct. 1343, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1403 (1960), and stems from the recognition that "it is the arbitrator's construction which was bargained for." United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel and Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 599, 80 S. Ct. 1358, 1362, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1424 (1960); see United Steelworkers of America v. American Manufacturing Co., supra, 363 U.S. at 568, 80 S. Ct. at 1346.
Accordingly, the scope of my review of the arbitrator's award is narrowly circumscribed.
I can only disturb the award where there is a manifest disregard of the collective bargaining agreement, totally unsupported by principles of contract construction and the law of the shop; when fraud, partiality, or other misconduct on the part of the arbitrator is shown; or when the award violates the command of some law, is too vague and ambiguous to be enforced, or is inconsistent with public policy, Ludwig Honold Manufacturing Co. v. Fletcher, 405 F.2d 1123, 1128-29 n. 27 (3d Cir. 1969), and accompanying text. To borrow the language of the courts of appeals for the First and Fifth Circuits, the sole question before me is whether the arbitrator's decision is, "by reason of some circumstance outside the contract itself, 'so palpably faulty that no judge, or group of judges, could ever conceivably have ...