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Pennsylvania Power Co. v. Local Union 272 of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

argued: May 23, 1989.

PENNSYLVANIA POWER COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
LOCAL UNION # 272 OF THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, AFL-CIO; THE INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, AFL-CIO



On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), D.C. Civil Action No. 88-1296.

Becker, Stapleton, and Rosenn, Circuit Judges.

Author: Stapleton

Opinion OF THE COURT

STAPLETON, Circuit Judge

This appeal from a summary judgment in favor of Local Union No. 272 and the denial of Pennsylvania Power Co.'s cross motion challenges a labor arbitrator's ruling on the arbitrability of a wage rate dispute. We conclude that the arbitrator exceeded the scope of his authority and we will accordingly reverse.

I.

The facts are not in dispute. In April 1986, Pennsylvania Power Corp. (Penn Power) created a new job classification, the "Mechanic-A/Welder," for employees performing welding on pressurized piping systems. Penn Power decided to assign the same wage rate to the new position as the one that applied to the Mechanic-A position. Local Union No. 272 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (the Union) met with Penn Power and argued that the wage rate for the new position should be upgraded. Penn Power refused.

On November 6, 1986, the Union filed a grievance, seeking "proper evaluation and compensation paid" for the new position. App. at 61. Penn Power responded by noting the following:

No Contract violation. The job evaluation system is not a part of the Agreement, therefore, the grievance is not arbitrable.

App. at 61.

The Union then requested Penn Power to furnish it with certain materials used by Penn Power in arriving at its wage rate decision, but Penn Power refused, claiming confidentiality. After the Union filed a complaint with the NLRB and a hearing was scheduled, Penn Power agreed to submit to arbitration both the issue of whether the grievance regarding the wage rate was arbitrable and, if that issue should be determined against Penn Power, the merits of the grievance.

The arbitrator held a hearing on the issue of arbitrability and, in January 1988, he concluded that the grievance was arbitrable. In May 1988, the arbitrator ruled on the merits, concluding that the position of Mechanic-A/Welder should be upgraded from the wage rate assigned it by the Company.

Penn Power sought an order vacating the arbitrator's award in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. On cross motions for summary judgment, the District Court affirmed the arbitrator's award, ...


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