United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
GIBSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff New Enterprise Stone & Lime
Company, Inc.'s ("NESL") Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 26) and Defendant Teamsters, Chauffeurs,
Warehousemen and Helpers Local Union No. 110's (the
"Union") Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or in
the Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 23).
These motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for
disposition. (See ECF Nos. 24, 25, 27, 28, 30-33.)
case arises from a dispute over the arbitrability of a
grievance filed by Charles Frye (the "Frye
Grievance"), who was an employee of Plaintiff and
represented by Defendant. In short, Frye sought to take his
grievance over vacation pay entitlement to arbitration under
the terms of the collective bargaining agreement (the
"CBA"). The present case ensued when Plaintiff
filed its Complaint in this Court seeking a declaratory
judgment that the Frye Grievance is not arbitrable.
reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 26) is DENIED, and
Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or in
the Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 23) is
Jurisdiction and Venue
Court has federal question jurisdiction over this case
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because this is an action
against a labor organization under the Labor Management
Relations Act of 1947, 29 U.S.C. § 141 et. seq.
(See ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 7-13; ECF No. 7 ¶¶
7-13.) Venue is proper in the Western District of
Pennsylvania pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 185(a), (c), under
which venue is proper in any district court in the United
States having jurisdiction of the parties.
initiated this lawsuit by filing the Complaint on January 4,
2018. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment
that the Frye Grievance is not arbitrable and that Plaintiff
has no obligation to arbitrate the Frye grievance under the
CBA. (Id. ¶¶ 43-49.) Plaintiff also seeks
to enjoin Defendant from proceeding in arbitration on any
issues concerning the Frye Grievance. (Id.
response, Defendant filed an Answer on March 4, 2018, asking
the Court to deny Plaintiff's requests for injunctive and
declaratory relief and bringing a counterclaim against
Plaintiff to compel arbitration. (ECF No. 7 ¶¶
54-62.) Plaintiff filed an Answer to the Counterclaim on
March 4, 2018. (ECF No. 8.)
filed this Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or in the
Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 23) on
September 30, 2018. Plaintiff filed its Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 26) the next day on October 1, 2018. Trje
briefing and responses on these motions concluded on October
31, 2018. (See ECF Nos. 24, 25, 27, 28, 30-33.)
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise
and Defendant have been parties to several, successive
collective bargaining agreements covering NESL employees at
its Roaring Spring, Blair County, Pennsylvania facilities,
including Charles Frye. (ECF No. 1 ¶ 14.) The relevant
CBA between Plaintiff and Defendant went into effect on
December 15, 2015, and expired on January 31, 2019.
(Id. ¶ 15; ECF No. 1-2.) The CBA contains a
grievance and arbitration procedure in Article 16. (ECF No. 1
¶ 16.) Section 16.01 of the CBA states that "[NESL]
and the Union agree to the following [arbitration] procedure
for the adjustment of any grievances or disputes arising from
the imposition of discipline or the alleged violation of any
of the Articles of this Agreement." (Id. ¶
16; ECF No. 1-2 at 16.) Article 13 of the CBA provides for
NESL employees' vacation eligibility. (ECF No. 1
¶¶ 17-19; ECF No. 1-2 at 13-14.) Specifically,
Section 13.01 of the CBA states that "[a]ll employees
covered by this agreement shall be eligible for such
vacations as are hereinafter set forth," provided that
certain requirements are met by the employee. (ECF No. 1-2 at
September 2017, Mr. Frye gave notice to Plaintiff that he
would retire from NESL in October 2017. (ECF No. 1 ¶
21.) After making his retirement announcement, Mr. Frye asked
Plaintiff whether he would receive vacation pay in 2018 for
the vacation that he worked for in 2017. (Id. ¶
25.) Plaintiff told Mr. Frye that he would not receive such
vacation pay in 2018, because his retirement date would
preclude his working on or after January 1, 2018.
(Id. ¶ 26.) Mr. Frye retired on October 27,
2017. (Id. ¶ 31.)
has not paid Mr. Frye any vacation pay for 2018.
(Id. ¶ 32.) On November 14, 2017, Mr. Frye
filed the Frye Grievance, alleging that he was entitled to be
paid in 2018 for vacation days which he worked in 2017.
(Id. ¶¶ 33-34.) Letters regarding the
merits of the Frye Grievance were exchanged ...