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Cenveo Corp. v. United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied-Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO-CLC

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

September 13, 2017

CENVEO CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STEEL, PAPER AND FORESTRY, RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED INDUSTRIAL AND SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO-CLC, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CATHY BISSOON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. MEMORANDUM

         Pending before the Court are cross Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff Cenveo Corporation (Doc. 32) and Defendants United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied-Industrial and Service Workers International Union (“USW”) and United Steelworkers, 198-G (“Local”) (herein collectively “Defendants” or the “Union”) (Doc. 30). For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 32) will be DENIED and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 30) will be GRANTED.

         A. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Cenveo Corporation (“Cenveo” or “Plaintiff”) is a Pennsylvania corporation that maintains a plant engaged in the production of envelopes, custom labels and commercial printing. Am. Compl. (Doc. 23). At all times material to this case, Cenveo and the Union have been parties to a collective bargaining agreement (“CBO”). Id. at ¶ 6. Plaintiff alleges that Dontay Stokes (“Stokes”) threatened to physically harm a supervisor and that, pursuant to a Last Chance Agreement (“LCA”), a subsequent grievance filed by the Union challenging Stokes's termination (“Grievance”) is not arbitrable. Id. at ¶ 5.

         The parties have provided a joint statement of undisputed material facts (“Joint Statement”), which includes the following facts. Dontay Stokes is a former employee of Cenveo and was a bargaining unit employee under the terms of the CBA. Joint Statement (Doc. 29) at ¶ 7. On December 23, 2015, Cenveo terminated Stokes for allegedly violating Cenveo's Workplace Violence Policy (“Policy”). Id. at ¶¶ 8-9. The Union grieved that termination. Id. at ¶ 10. On March 16, 2016, Cenveo and the Union entered into the LCA. Id. at ¶ 11. The LCA provides:

I, Dontay Stokes, by affixing my seal and/or signature, acknowledge, in the presence of and witnessed by Cenveo management and USW Local 198G representation, that I have been issued disciplinary actions in accordance with progressive discipline guidelines as provided for in Cenveo Mt. Pleasant, PA Plant Rules. Additionally, I confirm that, I am subject to the last and final step of the progressive disciplinary process, which terminates my employment.
I am in complete agreement and understanding that this agreement permits me to continue as an active employee, on a non-precedent setting basis, at the Cenveo Mount Pleasant Facility, with the stipulation if I have a violation of Cenveo Workplace Violence Policy, in the next six (6) month period, that generates a warning, it will result in immediate termination. Further, I consent to waive all bargaining unit agreement rights to the grievance process regarding such termination and agree to hold harmless, Cenveo management, USW Local 198G and its officers or representatives for such actions with respect to such termination.
My signature to this agreement serves as verification that this agreement has been explained to me and that I fully understand and agree to the terms and conditions set forth in this document.

Id.

         After being reinstated, Stokes reaffirmed his commitment to Cenveo's Workplace Violence Policy by again signing for a copy on March 25, 2016. Id. at ¶ 12. Cenveo alleges that Stokes violated the Policy by threatening to physically harm a supervisor, and on April 25, 2016, Cenveo terminated Stokes for this alleged violation. Id. at ¶ 13. The Union contends that Stokes did not make the alleged threat. Id. at ¶ 14.

         On May 4, 2016, the Union filed the Grievance challenging Stokes's termination. Id. at ¶ 15. Cenveo denied the Grievance, and maintains that the Grievance is not arbitrable under the terms of the LCA. Id. at ¶ 16. The Union maintains that the Grievance is arbitrable. Id. at ¶ 17. On October 26, 2016, Plaintiff filed a two-count amended complaint in this Court, seeking a Declaratory Judgment (Count I) and Injunction (Count II). Id. at ¶ 1.

         Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment on December 14, 2016. Pl.'s Mot. for Summ. J. (Doc. 32). Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on December 14, 2016. Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. (Doc. 30). Defendants allege that the grievance challenging Stokes's second termination is arbitrable and contend that arbitration should be compelled. Id.

         B. ...


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