WEBER, District Judge.
Plaintiff Union Local brings this action to overturn the decision of an arbitration panel which approved defendant-Employer's change of operations. Defendant has filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint and award attorney's fees. Defendant asserts as the basis for dismissal, (1) the decision of the arbitration panel is final and binding and not reviewable by this court, and (2) Plaintiff has failed to join all necessary parties.
Both parties have submitted evidentiary material in support of their positions. In accord with Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b), the Defendant's motion will be treated as one for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. No material issues of fact exist and for the reasons stated below defendant is entitled to summary judgment.
Defendant Consolidated Freightways (hereafter "Company") is an interstate motor carrier providing freight service throughout the United States. Plaintiff is a Teamsters Local with a territorial jurisdiction comprised of Allegheny County. Both parties are signatories to the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) Arts. 1-39, and the local Supplement Agreement, Arts. 40-54.
The company has maintained a number of terminals in the Ohio-Western Pennsylvania area, but did not have a terminal in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. At some unspecified date, the Company decided to reorganize its operations in this area and proposed a number of changes including the establishment of a terminal in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. This proposal was submitted to the various affected locals.
Prior to this change in operations, the Company had serviced Allegheny County from its outlying terminals. In its proposed reorganization, the Company sought to retain limited runs into Allegheny County from its outlying terminals. Plaintiff Local objected to this aspect of the change of operations because the work would be performed within plaintiff's territorial jurisdiction by members of other Locals. The parties were unable to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of this dispute and the company proceeded to arbitration.
The NMFA provides detailed provisions for grievance procedure. By Articles 8, 45, and 46, the NMFA provides grievance machinery for the resolution of disputes. In addition to the general grievance committees, a specialized grievance committee entitled the Change of Operations Committee (COC) is created by Art. 8, Section 6, and Art. 45, Section 6 of the NMFA and Supplement. The Company submitted its proposal to the COC which approved the change of operations despite plaintiff's objections and challenge to jurisdiction.
Defendant did not submit its proposal and the dispute to any other grievance committee. The effect of the COC's decision was to permit members of other union locals to perform work within the territorial jurisdiction of the plaintiff Local. Plaintiff contends that the COC's decision is contrary to express contract provisions and is beyond the COC's authority.
We recognize that this court's power to review an arbitration panel decision is narrowly defined. Courts are not to review the arbitrator's factual findings or interpretation of labor contract provisions absent fraud, partiality, or misconduct. Ludwig Honold Mfg. Co. v. Fletcher, 405 F.2d 1123 (3d Cir. 1969). The court may not permit the arbitrator to simply ignore provisions of the agreement. Id.; Price v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 457 F.2d 605 (3d Cir. 1972). However, if any rational basis exists for the arbitrator's interpretation of the agreement, the court may not review that interpretation. United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel and Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 599, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1424, 80 S. Ct. 1358 (1960); Ludwig Honold Mfg. Co. v. Fletcher, 405 F.2d at 1128.
The Local claims that the COC's decision is contrary to various provisions of the Agreement. Plaintiff specifically refers to Art. 3, sec. 4, of the NMFA which reads:
Section 4. The Employers agree to respect the
jurisdictional rules of the Union and
shall not direct or require their em-
Work ployees or persons other than the
Assignments employees in the bargaining units
here involved, to perform work
which is recognized as the work of
the employees in said units. This is
not to interfere with bona fide con-
tracts with bonafide unions.
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