United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Just Born, Inc. (“Plaintiff” or “Just
Born”), brings this suit against Defendant, Local Union
No. 6, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain
Millers International Union of America
(“Defendant” or “Union”) for damages
and declaratory relief under Section 301 of the Labor
Management Relations Act for the Union's alleged breach
of its collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”)
entered into with Plaintiff. Before the Court is the Motion
for Summary Judgment of Defendant and Plaintiff's
Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, as well as
numerous responses and replies to each. For the following
reasons, Defendant's Motion is granted, Plaintiff's
Cross-Motion is denied, and judgment will be entered in favor
of the Union.
judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 56(c).
“A motion for summary judgment will not be defeated by
‘the mere existence' of some disputed facts, but
will be denied when there is a genuine issue of material
fact.” Am. Eagle Outfitters v. Lyle & Scott
Ltd., 584 F.3d 575, 581 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-248
(1986)). A fact is “material” if proof of its
existence or non-existence might affect the outcome of the
litigation, and a dispute is “genuine” if
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
undertaking this analysis, the court views the facts in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party. “After
making all reasonable inferences in the nonmoving party's
favor, there is a genuine issue of material fact if a
reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party.”
Pignataro v. Port Auth. of N.Y. and N.J., 593 F.3d
265, 268 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Reliance Ins. Co. v.
Moessner, 121 F.3d 895, 900 (3d Cir. 1997)). While the
moving party bears the initial burden of showing the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact, meeting this obligation
shifts the burden to the non-moving party who must “set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.
is a candy manufacturer that owns and operates a production
facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Stmt of Undisputed
Mat'l Facts, ¶ 1.) Production and maintenance
workers at the Bethlehem Just Born facility are represented
by Defendant, Local No. 6 of the Bakery, Confectionery,
Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.
(Id., ¶ 2.) Production and maintenance workers
at the Bethlehem facility have been represented by local
unions affiliated with the international union currently
known as the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain
Millers International Union since at least 1954.
(Id., ¶ 2.) Just Born and Local 6 have
negotiated collective bargaining agreements setting wages,
hours, and other terms and conditions of employment for the
union-represented production and maintenance workers and the
Bethlehem facility. (Id., ¶ 3.) The collective
bargaining agreement (“CBA”) at issue in this
case contained the following relevant language in Article 19,
GRIEVANCE AND ARBITRATION:”
19.1 Should any difference arise between the Company and the
Union as to the meaning and application of the provisions of
this Agreement or as to any questions relating to the wages,
hours of work and other conditions of employment of any
employee, there will be no suspension of work on account of
such differences, but an earnest effort will be made to
settle them promptly according to the following procedure.
(See Exh. 1 to Stmt of Mat'l Facts.)
24 of the CBA, titled “PROHIBITIONS OF STRIKES AND
LOCKOUTS, ” states:
The Union will not cause or permit its members to cause, nor
will any member of the Union take part in, any strike, either
sit-down, stay-in or any other kind of strike, or other
interference, or any stoppage, total or partial, of
production in the Company's plant until the grievance
procedure has been exhausted, and not even then unless
approved by the International Union.
(Stmt of Mat'l Facts, ¶ 5, Exh. 1.) The language
contained in Article 24 is also contained in CBAs covering
workers at the Bethlehem facility executed in the following
years: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1992,
1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2010. (Id., ¶ 6.)
about May 19, 2016, the parties began negotiating for a
successor agreement to the CBA, and on September 7, 2016,
Local 6 commenced a strike at the Bethlehem facility.
(Id., ¶¶ 7-8.) Plaintiff filed the instant
suit on September 26, 2016, seeking damages and declaratory
relief under ...