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International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 5 v. Inter-State Tile & Mantel Co.

August 6, 2008

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF BRICKLAYERS AND ALLIED CRAFTWORKERS, LOCAL 5, PLAINTIFF
v.
INTER-STATE TILE & MANTEL CO., INC., DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conner

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiff International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 5 ("Local 5") initiated this action to enforce a labor arbitration award obtained against defendant Inter-State Tile & Mantel Co., Inc. ("Inter-State") pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.*fn1 (See Doc. 15 ¶ 2; Doc. 20 ¶ 2.) Presently before the court are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment (Docs. 13, 16). For the reasons that follow, the court will grant Local 5's motion for summary judgment and will deny Inter-State's.

I. Statement of Facts*fn2

Inter-State is an employer of tile workers, some of whom are members of unions such as Local 5. Inter-State and Local 5 entered into a series of collective bargaining agreements, the most recent of which expired on April 30, 2006. (Doc. 18 ¶ 3; Doc. 23 ¶ 3.) When Inter-State elected not to renew the agreement, the majority of Inter-State's employees decided to sever their relationships with Local 5 and to remain employed by Inter-State. (Doc. 18 ¶¶ 5-7; Doc. 23 ¶¶ 5-7.)

At around the same time, Inter-State was performing work in the jurisdiction of International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 1 ("Local 1"). (Doc. 15 ¶¶ 7-8; Doc. 20 ¶¶ 7-8.) On April 25, 2006, Inter-State signed Local 1's collective bargaining agreement, which expires on April 30, 2009.*fn3 (Doc. 15 ¶¶ 9-10; Doc. 26 ¶¶ 9-10.) The Local 1 collective bargaining agreement contains the following traveling contractors clause:

When the Employer has any work of the type covered by this Agreement to be performed outside of the area covered by this Agreement and within the area covered by the standard Collective Bargaining Agreement of another affiliate of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the Employer agrees to abide by the full terms and conditions of the standard Agreement in effect on the job site area with respect to all employees, wherever hired, who perform such work, except as provided in the next sentence of this paragraph. Employees covered by thisAgreement who are sent to projects outside of the area covered by this Agreement shall be paid at least the established minimum wage scale required under this Agreement but in no case less than the established minimum wage scale of the local Agreement covering the territory in which such work is being performed plus all contributions specified in the job site local Agreement. If employees are sent to work on a project in an area where there is no local Agreement covering the work which falls within the scope of this Agreement, the full terms and conditions of this Agreement will apply. (Doc. 15 ¶ 12; Doc. 26 ¶ 12 (emphasis added)).

On May 1, 2006, Local 5 entered into a standard collective bargaining agreement with various employers of tile workers within its jurisdiction. (Doc. 15 ¶¶ 19-20; Doc. 26 ¶¶ 19-20.) Inter-State was not one of them. (See Doc. 1, Ex. A at 21.) At some point after May 1, 2006, Local 5 learned that Inter-State was performing work within its jurisdiction without complying with the terms of its standard collective bargaining agreement. (Doc. 15 ¶ 21; Doc. 26 ¶ 21.) On July 11, 2006, Local 5 filed a grievance regarding Inter-State's alleged non-complying practices. (Doc. 15 ¶ 22; Doc. 26 ¶ 22.) The grievance accused Inter-State of violating the traveling contractors clause of Local 1's collective bargaining agreement. Specifically, the grievance provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

Under [the traveling contractors clause of Local 1's collective bargaining agreement], whenever Interstate performs work outside of the area covered by this collective bargaining agreement, Inter State has agreed "to abide by the full terms and conditions of the standard Agreement in effect on the job site area with respect to all employees, wherever hired, who perform such work." As you are aware, [Local 5] does have a standard collective bargaining agreement with various tile and marble contractors covering work of the type covered by the Local 1 collective bargaining agreement and work which is customarily performed by Inter State. . . .

Since May 1, 2006, . . . Inter State has failed to comply with the provisions of the Local 5 agreement while performing work within the jurisdiction of Local 5 and the area covered by the Local 5 collective bargaining agreement. Based on information that Local 5 has received, Inter State has failed to pay to all of its employees performing work covered by the Local 1 and Local 5 collective bargaining agreements the mandatory wages and fringe benefits provided in the Local 5 collective bargaining agreement. For example, Inter State has failed to submit contributions to the employee benefit funds as provided for under the Local 5 agreement for the month of May, 2006. (Doc. 15 ¶ 22; Doc. 26 ¶ 22.)

When the grievance failed to resolve the dispute, Local 5 submitted the issue to arbitration.*fn4 (Doc. 15 ¶ 24; Doc. 26 ¶ 24.) After holding a hearing on December 5, 2006 in which both parties participated, arbitrator Charles D. Long, Jr. rendered a decision in favor of Local 5. (Doc. 15 ¶¶ 25, 28; Doc. 26 ¶¶ 25, 28; Doc. 1 ¶ 13; Doc. 4 ¶ 13.) The decision, which was issued on March 23, 2007, provides that the "traveling contractors clause in the Local 1 Agreement requires Inter-State to comply with the terms and conditions of [the] standard Agreement of [Local 5] even though Inter-State is not a signatory to that Agreement." (Doc 15 ¶ 28; Doc. 26 ¶ 28.) The decision also orders Inter-State "to make retro-active pay adjustments to employees and make [Local 5] whole for all monies owing for required health and welfare contributions, including pensions, and to otherwise comply with the terms and conditions of the Local 5 Agreement . . . in effect at the jobsite area." (Id.) Inter-State admits that it has failed to comply with the mandates of this decision. (Doc. 1 ¶ 17; Doc. 4 ¶ 17.)

On June 27, 2007, Local 5 instituted the instant action, seeking judicial enforcement of the arbitration award. (See Doc. 1.) The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment regarding the enforceability of the arbitration award. The motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for disposition.

II. Standard of Review

Through summary adjudication the court may dispose of those claims that do not present a "genuine issue as to any material fact" and for which a jury trial would be an empty and unnecessary formality. See FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). It places the burden on the non-moving party to come forth with "affirmative evidence, beyond the allegations of the pleadings," in support of its right to relief. Pappas v. City of Lebanon, 331 F. Supp. 2d 311, 315 (M.D. Pa. 2004); FED. R. CIV. P. 56(e); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). This evidence must be adequate, as a matter of law, to sustain a judgment in favor of the non-moving party on the claims. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250-57 (1986); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587-89 (1986); see also FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c), (e). Only if this threshold is met may the cause of action proceed. Pappas, 331 F. Supp. 2d at 315.

The court is permitted to resolve cross-motions for summary judgment concurrently. InterBusiness Bank, N.A. v. First Nat'l Bank of Mifflintown, 318 F. Supp. 2d 230, 235 (M.D. Pa. 2004) (describing concurrent resolution of cross-motions for summary judgment as "a formidable task"); see also Irvin v. United Mine Workers of Am. Health & Ret. Funds, No. 05-1072, 2007 WL 539646, at *1 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 15, 2007); 10A CHARLES ALAN WRIGHT ET AL., FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE ยง 2720 (3d ed. 1998). When doing so, the court is bound to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party ...


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