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IBEW, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1522 v. AT&T MICROELECTRONICS

December 21, 1995

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1522, Plaintiff,
v.
AT&T MICROELECTRONICS, INC., Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOYNER

 Joyner, J.

 December 21, 1995

 We address today the cross-motions for summary judgment filed by the parties in this labor case. The plaintiff, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, Local 1522 (the "Union"), and the defendant, AT&T Microelectronics, Inc. (the "Company"), are parties to a collective bargaining agreement (the "CBA"). In this action, the Union challenges the arbitrator's award in a case involving one of its members and an employee of the defendant, Chris Dresen. The parties agree that no genuine issue of fact exists; thus, the case is ripe for summary disposition.

 BACKGROUND

 On the evening of February 3, 1994, Mr. Dresen became involved in an altercation with a security guard as he was reporting for work. Heated words were exchanged; and at one point, Mr. Dresen struck the security guard with his elbow. After investigating the incident, the Company discharged Mr. Dresen on February 17 for threatening and assaulting the security guard. Pursuant to the CBA, the Union submitted a claim for arbitration on Mr. Dresen's behalf, challenging whether he had been discharged for "just cause." On December 30, 1994, Arbitrator Steven M. Wolf issued an Opinion and Award concluding that the Company did not have just cause to discharge Mr. Dresen and ordering that he be reinstated to his prior position. Arbitrator Wolf also concluded, however, that Mr. Dresen's conduct warranted severe disciplinary action. Accordingly, he ordered that Mr. Dresen be reinstated without back pay.

 On January 17, 1995, the Union initiated the instant action in this Court, alleging that Arbitrator Wolf exceeded his authority under the CBA when he declined to award Mr. Dresen back pay. The Union asks us to modify Arbitrator Wolf's award so that it provides for back pay. In response, the Company has submitted a counterclaim in which it asks for an order confirming the award as to the denial of back pay, but vacating it as to reinstatement. *fn1" Further, the Company contends that Arbitrator Wolf's decision must either stand or fall in total. In the alternative, the Company argues that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the instant dispute. *fn2" The relevant portions of the CBA provide as follows:

 
Article 7 - Arbitration
 
1.3 The Arbitrator shall have no authority to:
 
(a) Add to, or subtract from, or in any way modify the provisions of this agreement;
 
. . .
 
1.4 The decision of the Arbitrator made in compliance with this Article shall be final. . . . The COMPANY and UNION agree to abide by the Arbitrator's decision.

 . . .

 2.7 The Arbitrator's authority shall be confined to a determination of whether or not the COMPANY had just cause to DISMISS, suspend or place the grievant on INTERIM STATUS. If the Arbitrator should determine that the COMPANY lacked just cause, the employee shall be reinstated (if not previously reinstated) and shall be entitled to back pay at the employee's ADJUSTED RATE less interim earnings and any unemployment ...


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