was introduced that the renewed bargaining agreement was negotiated or written to exclude similar contributions in the future. The settlement agreement stated that the plaintiffs would make "delinquent contributions," that they would hereafter "keep current on all contractually required contributions," and that "except as modified herein, the collective bargaining agreement shall remain in full force."
Plaintiffs assert that the Arbitrator ignored the express provisions of Articles Four and Fourteen of the renewed bargaining agreement. The Arbitrator acknowledged that on their face these articles did not require contributions for trial workers. However, finding that the settlement agreement acted as a clarification of these disputed provisions was not unreasonable. The close correlation of the language in the collective bargaining agreement and the settlement agreement signed only five days earlier bring his reliance upon the settlement agreement, as he was led to understand it, within the realm of reason. Contrary to plaintiffs' contentions, the settlement agreement could be viewed as a demonstrable clarification of the collective bargaining agreement provisions and not as a substitution of the Arbitrator's "own brand of industrial justice." See United Steelworkers of Amer. v. Enterprise W & C, 363 U.S. at 597. In United Steelworkers v. Warrior and Gulf Navigation, Co., 363 U.S. 574, 581-582, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1409, 80 S. Ct. 1347 (1960), the Supreme Court held that arbitrators are not only confined to express labor contract provisions, but the practices of the industry and shop are equally a part of a collective bargaining agreement, although not expressed in it. See also Ludwig, 405 F.2d at 1128. In NF & M Corp. v. United Steelworkers of America, 524 F.2d 756, 757 (3d Cir. 1975), the Third Circuit stated that if an arbitrator's award has deviated from the plain meaning of a labor contract provision, it must find support in the contract itself or in prior practices demonstrating relaxation of the literal language.
Once the settlement agreement was found to rectify delinquent payments for trial workers under the previous bargaining agreement, and there being no clear evidence that the renewed agreement was intended to provide differently, the settlement agreement could be properly adduced by the Arbitrator as evidence of a prior practice or "clarification" of the collective bargaining agreement -- specifically, Articles Four and Fourteen, which do not, by their terms, exclude the possibility that trial workers could be covered. Since the Arbitrator's decision cannot be said to have been derived from sources other than the collective bargaining agreement, defendant's motion for summary judgment must be granted and plaintiffs' cross-motion denied.
An appropriate order follows.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 570 F. Supp.]
AND NOW, this 8th day of August, 1983, for reasons stated in the accompanying memorandum, it is hereby ORDERED that defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and plaintiffs' cross-motion is DENIED. JUDGMENT is entered in favor of defendant and against the plaintiffs.
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