for disposition are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment.
Prior to addressing the plaintiff's claim that the defendant has failed to fulfill its contractual obligation to the Fund, we must first address the preemption issues raised by the defendant in its answer and cross-motion for summary judgment. We believe we must also relate the underlying, undisputed facts of this case so that our discussion of these issues might be better understood.
The collective bargaining agreements between the Union and the defendant prior to the execution of the 1982-85 labor contract had required the defendant to provide Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance coverage for all "eligible" employees. The defendant's contract with Blue Cross/Blue Shield annually expired on February 1. During negotiations to renew the contract which expired on December 31, 1981, the Union demanded, inter alia, that the Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage be replaced by the Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund. When the parties failed to reach an accord by December 31, 1981, they agreed to extend the existing contract daily while negotiations continued and the employees continued to work. They reached an agreement as to the terms of a new contract on January 25, 1982. For purposes of "continuity", the commencement date of the new contract was back-dated to January 1, 1982. The contract was to expire on December 31, 1984.
The 1982-1985 agreement incorporated the Union's demand that the Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage be replaced by the Teamsters Fund. Article XVI of the 1982-85 contract, entitled "Health, Welfare and Insurance Coverage", provided in its pertinent parts as follows:
The Employer hereby agrees to contribute to the Teamsters Local No. 429 Health and Welfare Fund the following monthly contributions for each eligible employee: