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Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters v. Elliot-Lewis Corp.

United States District Court, Third Circuit

August 16, 2013

METROPOLITAN REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS, SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, STATE OF DELAWARE AND EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND,
v.
ELLIOT-LEWIS CORPORATION.

MEMORANDUM

HARVEY BARTLE, III, District Judge.

Plaintiff Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters, Southeastern Pennsylvania, State of Delaware and Eastern Shore of Maryland ("union") has initiated this lawsuit against defendant Elliot-Lewis Corporation ("employer") under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, to vacate a portion of an arbitration award. The award was issued pursuant to a dispute resolution procedure contained in the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The employer counterclaimed for confirmation of the award. Before the court are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The following facts are undisputed. Defendant employer serves the function of labor broker at the Pennsylvania Convention Center ("PCC"). It hires, schedules, and assigns members of the various crafts to perform work for exhibitions and contractors at the PCC. Plaintiff union is one of six unions that work with the PCC and represents carpenters employed by the employer, who perform labor work for exhibitions at the PCC.

The union and the employer are parties to the Philadelphia Exposition Service Contractors Association ("PESCA") agreement as well as the Customer Satisfaction Agreement ("CSA") between the PCC and various trade unions. While the CSA incorporates by reference the PESCA agreement, it also contains the following:

The parties expressly agree that their respective collective bargaining agreements now in existence, insofar as such agreements apply to work performed at the Convention Center, are hereby amended by this Agreement and that this Agreement shall supersede any and all provisions of such collective bargaining agreements to the extent inconsistent herewith.

Section K of the CSA, entitled "Dispute Resolution Procedures, " provides:

2. Resolution of Disputes Impacting Ongoing Work. To ensure the resolution of any such dispute with no disruption of work, the parties acknowledge and agree that the PCCA, through its designated representative, shall have the authority to render an immediate resolution of all such disputes of any nature in the course of the planning for and execution of a convention, trade show or other event, including without limitation jurisdictional disputes.
3. Appeal to Binding Arbitration. Once resolved as set forth above, an aggrieved party to a collective bargaining agreement shall be entitled to appeal the resolution pursuant to the dispute resolution procedures contained in such party's collective bargaining agreement, except for jurisdictional disputes which shall be resolved in accordance with the Expedited Jurisdictional Dispute Resolution Procedures set forth below.

The Jurisdictional Dispute Resolution Procedures state:

4. Expedited Jurisdictional Dispute Resolution Procedures. Once a jurisdictional dispute has been resolved as set forth above, an aggrieved party to a collective bargaining agreement shall be entitled to appeal the resolution pursuant to the following procedures:
(a) All parties hereto agree that the appeal of a jurisdictional dispute shall be conducted by and between the affected Labor Unions claiming jurisdiction over the work and the assigning employer (the "Interested Parties").
(b) Within twenty-four (24) hours of the resolution of such dispute by the PCCA, any Interested Party who disagrees with the resolution may submit the dispute to the Philadelphia Area Labor Management ("PALM") Committee in a written request for mediation.
(c) Within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the written request for mediation, PALM shall communicate with the Interested Parties to explore a resolution of the dispute and shall communicate in writing to all Interested Parties whether the dispute has been resolved and, if resolved, the outcome.
(d) If the mediation process has not resolved the dispute, any Interested Party may appeal the dispute through binding arbitration to one member of a standing arbitration panel. The demand for arbitration shall be submitted to the PCCA, with contemporaneous notice to all Interested Parties, ...

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