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BECHTEL CORP. v. LOCAL 215

November 13, 1975

BECHTEL CORPORATION and Bechtel Power Corporation, Plaintiffs,
v.
LOCAL 215, LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, AFL-CIO et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHERIDAN

 This action arises under the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C.A. § 141 et seq. (the Act). Before the court are defendants' motions to dismiss and for a more definite statement. For the purposes of the ruling on the motion to dismiss, the court accepts as true all well pleaded facts in the complaint. Bonnot v. Congress of Independent Unions, Local 14, 8 Cir. 1964, 331 F.2d 355; United States Steel Corp. v. UMW, W.D.Pa.1970, 320 F. Supp. 743. For the reasons hereinafter given the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

 Plaintiffs (Bechtel) are Bechtel Corporation and Bechtel Power Corporation, the latter being a wholly-owned subsidiary of the former. Bechtel is a general contractor, engaged in the construction of two nuclear power plants, known collectively as the Susquehanna Steam Electric Generating Station in Berwick, Pennsylvania. The work on this eight year project began in late 1973.

 Bechtel employs approximately 1200 employees in manual building trades and has contracted with subcontractors who employ approximately 100 additional workers. Wages, hours, and working conditions for plaintiffs' employees are covered by the terms of several collective bargaining agreements entered into between Bechtel or its representative and various unions, including defendant Local 215, Laborers' International Union of North America, AFL-CIO (Local 215), or their international organizations.

 According to the complaint, in November 1974, a jurisdictional dispute arose between Local 215 and a local chapter of the Ironworkers' Union concerning the performance of certain work on the project. Thereafter, on December 16 and 17, representatives of Local 215 induced a work stoppage and picketing at the project.

 In February 1975, a second jurisdictional dispute arose, this time between Local 215 and a local chapter of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. This dispute also resulted in a work stoppage and picketing, for which defendants were responsible.

 I. INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANTS.

 The defendants have moved to dismiss the action as to the individual defendants, claiming that the Act confers no jurisdiction over individuals. Bechtel acquiesces in this view:

 
". . . Plaintiffs do not oppose the motion to dismiss insofar as it is directed against these two individuals." Plaintiffs' Br. at 2.

 Accordingly, this portion of the motion to dismiss will be granted.

 II. THE "PLAN FOR SETTLEMENT OF JURISDICTIONAL DISPUTES IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY" AS A BAR TO THE ACTION.

 With regard to this point, defendants have abandoned their motion.

 
"The defendants do not press this defense at this time." Defendants' Br. at 8.

 Accordingly, this portion of their motion will be denied.

 III. ARBITRABILITY OF THE CLAIM.

 Jurisdiction for this action is grounded on §§ 301 and 303 of the Act. The first section creates a cause of action for a violation of a collective bargaining agreement. 29 U.S.C.A. § 185. The second authorizes a suit for damages, ". . . subject to the limitations and provisions of section 185 . . .," where a labor union causes a strike in furtherance of a jurisdictional dispute with another union in violation of 29 U.S.C.A. § 158(b)(4). 28 U.S.C.A. § 187. See NLRB v. Local 825, Operating Engineers, 1971, 400 U.S. 297, 91 S. Ct. 402, 27 L. Ed. 2d 398; Carey v. Westinghouse Electric Corp., 1964, 375 U.S. 261, 84 S. Ct. 401, 11 L. Ed. 2d 320.

 
A. Section 301, 29 U.S.C.A. § 185, claim.

 This law authorizes unions or employers to sue for damages when a party has violated a collective bargaining agreement.

 
"Suits for violation of contracts between an employer and a labor organization representing employees in an industry affecting commerce as defined in this chapter, or between any such labor organizations, may be brought in any district court of the United States having jurisdiction of the parties, without respect to the amount in controversy or without regard to the citizenship of the parties." 29 U.S.C.A. § 185(a).

 Thus, parties may bring suit in federal court upon an allegation that a defendant is in breach of a collective bargaining contract.

 However, many collective bargaining contracts contain arbitration clauses under which the parties agree to submit grievances arising under the contract to an arbitrator for decision, and the law favors arbitration. Section 203(d) of the Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 173(d), provides:

 
"Final adjustment by a method agreed upon by the parties is declared to be the desirable method of settlement of grievance disputes arising over the application or interpretation of an ...

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