Again the company missed several deadlines, but in the end it essentially verified the union's figures and computations. On October 31, 1986, the arbitrator issued a supplemental award for payments to individual employees. Trailways' refusal to comply is now before the Court on plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.
It is settled that courts must be deferential to arbitral awards, and that in particular that they may not weigh the merits of a grievance or consider whether there is equity in a particular claim. Office of Professional Employees International Union, Local 2 v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (OPEIU), 233 U.S. App. D.C. 1, 724 F.2d 133 (D.C. Cir. 1983). As the appellate tribunal there stated, a court may only consider the issues left open for judicial inquiry by the "Steelworkers Trilogy"
-- whether the award was arbitrary and capricious; whether it was sufficiently definite; whether it exceeded the scope of the arbitrator's jurisdiction; whether the arbitrator was partial; and whether he reached a result contrary to the record evidence. On the jurisdictional question, the Court must conclude (1) that the award drew its "essence" from the collective bargaining agreement or the "law of the shop," and (2) that the arbitrator did not grossly deviate from his authority or reached a result contrary to record evidence.
In view of this narrow standard, the arguments advanced by Trailways are rather curious. Again and again in its papers, the company seeks to involve the Court in the task of overturning decisions of the arbitrator that, by any reasonable standard, were clearly within his jurisdiction. Thus, Trailways contends that the arbitrator ignored specific contractual language (Response at 3, 8); that he was animated by a "zeal to create his own brand of industrial justice" (Response at 6, 15); that, contrary to the arbitrator's findings, the contract was not ambiguous (Response at 9, 18); that the arbitrator "concluded incorrectly" the timing of the request for arbitration (Memorandum at 7);
that it went against the common understanding of the word "negotiation" to give the contract a ratchet effect (Memorandum at 11); that because the no strike clause of the contract allegedly conflicted with the right to strike recognized elsewhere in the agreement, the arbitrator's decisions are open to review by the Court (Memorandum at 14); and that arbitration "must reach a rational and fair result based on more than a passing measure of the Federal common law of labor" (Memorandum at 20).
Even where the company relies on decisional authority, it misses the point. Thus, it cites NLRB v. Lion Oil Co., 352 U.S. 282, 1 L. Ed. 2d 331, 77 S. Ct. 330 (1957), in support of the proposition that when the union gave notification of its intent to modify the agreement this operated, "as a matter of law . . . [to effect] . . . a termination date of the contract as to economics at March 31, 1984." Response at 11-12. However Lion Oil involved a construction of the terms "termination or modification" and "expiration" in section 8(d)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended -- an issue that differs fundamentally from one concerning the meaning of terminology in a collective bargaining agreement. Indeed, although the statutory language was held in Lion Oil to effect an expiration, the Court specifically noted that "at all relevant times a collective bargaining agreement was in effect" (352 U.S. at 287) and that the "statutory notice requirement operates wholly independently of whatever notice requirement the parties have fixed for themselves" (352 U.S. at 293-94).
Without further belaboring the obvious, the Court concludes that a valid and binding arbitration award is in existence; that Trailways has delayed far too long complying with that award; and that the time has now come where further delay will not be tolerated.
Contemporaneously herewith, the Court is issuing an order granting plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and requiring defendant to pay within ten days the amounts specified in the arbitrator's supplemental award with interest and in all other respects comply with the arbitrator's final remedial award.