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ILGWU, LOCAL NO. 111 v. DEE VILLE BLOUSE CO.

March 17, 1980

INTERNATIONAL LADIES' GARMENT WORKERS' UNION, LOCAL NO. 111
v.
Dee VILLE BLOUSE CO., INC.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: TROUTMAN

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Threatening to strike, plaintiff union sent defendant a letter in May 1975 and demanded access to company payroll books and other records according to provisions of a collective bargaining agreement into which the parties had entered. *fn1" When defendant refused to permit plaintiff to inspect all records which it desired, plaintiff submitted the dispute to an arbitrator, *fn2" who determined that defendant had violated the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement. Having filed this action under the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. ยง 185, to enforce the arbitrator's decision, plaintiff now moves for summary judgment, which will be granted.

 The scope of judicial review of an arbitrator's decision is "narrow in the extreme", Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workers of North America, Local 195 v. Cross Brothers Meat Packers, Inc., 518 F.2d 1113, 1121 (3d Cir. 1975), *fn3" for federal labor policy favors arbitration as the means selected by the parties for the final adjustment of their differences. United Mine Workers of America, District No. 2 v. Barnes & Tucker Co., 561 F.2d 1093 (3d Cir. 1977). *fn4" Refusal to review the merits of an arbitration award is

 
(T)he question of interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement is a question for the arbitrator. It is the arbitrator's construction which was bargained for; and so far as the arbitrator's decision concerns construction of the contract, the courts have no business overruling him because their interpretation is different from his.

 United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel & Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 596-599, 80 S. Ct. 1358, 1360-1362, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1424 (1960) (emphasis added). Review of arbitration awards is circumscribed further by the following test:

 
An arbitrator is confined to interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement; he does not sit to dispense his own brand of industrial justice. He may of course look for guidance from many sources, yet his award is legitimate only so long as it draws its essence from the collective bargaining agreement. When an arbitrator's words manifest an infidelity to this obligation, courts have no choice but to refuse enforcement of the award.

 Id. at 597, 80 S. Ct. at 1361 (emphasis added). A labor arbitrator's award "draws its essence from the collective bargaining agreement" when

 
the interpretation can in any rational way be derived from the agreement, viewed in the light of its language, its context, and any other indicia of the parties' intention; only where there is a manifest disregard of the agreement, totally unsupported by principles of contract construction and the law of the shop, may a reviewing court disturb the award.

 Ludwig Honold Manufacturing Co. v. Fletcher, 405 F.2d 1123, 1128 (3d Cir. 1969) (emphasis added).

 In the case at bar the arbitrator interpreted Article XXII of the parties' collective bargaining agreement. This article, captioned "Access to Shop Examination of Books Payroll Records", included these provisions:

 
1. Representatives and employees of the Union, including engineers and accountants, shall have access to the shop of the Employer during working hours to take up complaints or to determine compliance with the terms of this agreement.
 
2. The Employer shall, upon request, submit to such representatives and employees of the Union the payroll books and records and all other pertinent books and records for examination for the purpose of determining compliance with the terms of this agreement, and the data including time study records employed in setting wages and piece rates.
 
3. The failure of the Employer to permit access to the shop or to submit such books, records or data shall be presumptive evidence of the violation complained of and shall justify sustaining the Union's complaint. Moreover, in the event of such failure by the Employer, the Union at its option ...

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