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DRIVERS LOCAL UNION NO. 639 v. SEAGRAM SALES CORP.

December 22, 1981

DRIVERS, CHAUFFEURS & HELPERS LOCAL UNION NO. 639, etc., Plaintiff,
v.
SEAGRAM SALES CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CORCORAN

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. Preliminary Statement

 This action is before the Court on plaintiff's Motion to Remand to the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. Also before the Court are defendants' Cross-Motion to Dismiss and plaintiff's Motion for a Protective Order.

 Upon consideration of the submissions of the parties the Court has determined that this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear plaintiff's complaint and accordingly that a remand is required. In view of that conclusion, the Court does not reach the Cross-Motion to Dismiss or the Motion for Protective Order.

 II. Background

 Prior to August 15, 1980, plaintiff Drivers, Chauffeurs & Helpers Local Union No. 639 ("Local 639") represented the employees of Capitol City Liquor Corporation ("CCLC") under the terms of certain collective bargaining agreements between it and CCLC. Defendant Chester Carter was the president of CCLC and defendant Roy Kinsey was its attorney.

 On August 15, 1980, CCLC ceased operations and terminated its business. Thereafter on August 22, 1980, CCLC and Local 639 signed an agreement which terminated the collective bargaining agreements between them. The termination agreement also provided for certain "severance" benefits for the former CCLC employees represented by Local 639.

 At all times pertinent hereto, Local 639 had a master collective bargaining agreement with the D.C. Liquor Wholesalers Association. (Plaintiff's Motion for a Protective Order, Exhibit C, pp. 65-66). Prior to the termination of its business, CCLC was a signatory to that master agreement. (Id., Exhibit B, p. 6). Forman Brothers, Inc. ("Forman"), another liquor dealer in the District of Columbia, is presently a signatory to the master agreement. *fn1" The master agreement includes a grievance and arbitration procedure. It also apparently provides that if one signatory to the agreement succeeds to the business of another signatory, the employees of the defunct signatory will be entitled to the protection of the master agreement between the successor and Local 639. (Id., Exhibit B, pp. 7-10).

 On September 5, 1980, Local 639 filed a grievance against Forman alleging that CCLC had not in fact terminated its business but rather had sold the business to Forman and that accordingly the former employees of CCLC were entitled to the protection of the master agreement between Local 639 and Forman.

 Following the filing of that grievance, Local 639 twice asked CCLC, through its attorney Kinsey, to furnish Local 639 with certain information regarding the "termination" of CCLC's business. Kinsey refused to provide the requested information.

 In April 1981, Local 639 filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board ("the Board") alleging inter alia that CCLC's refusal to furnish the information constituted an unfair labor practice within the meaning of § 8(a) (1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act. 29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1) and (5). That charge is still pending before the Board.

 Arbitration of Local 639's grievance against Forman commenced in July, 1981. During the course of the arbitration, the arbitrator issued subpoenas to defendants Carter, Kinsey and Seagram Sales Corporation directing them to produce certain information regarding the "termination" of CCLC's business, much of which was identical to the information at issue before the Board. It is to be noted that none of the defendants in the action before this Court-neither Carter, nor Kinsey, nor Seagram Sales Corporation-are parties to the Forman arbitration.

 When the defendants refused to provide the arbitrator with the information, Local 639 filed this action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia seeking enforcement of the arbitrator's subpoenas pursuant to the District of Columbia Uniform Arbitration Act. D.C.Law 1-117 (1977). The Uniform Arbitration Act provides for the issuance of subpoenas by an arbitrator to non-party witnesses at an arbitration proceeding, to compel their testimony of the production of documents. D.C.Law 1-117 § 8(a) (1977). The Act also authorizes either the arbitrator or a party to seek enforcement of the subpoenas in the Superior Court in the event of noncompliance. Id. at § 8(a).

 Defendants removed the action from the Superior Court to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) in August, 1981. Plaintiff's Motion to ...


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