The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREENE
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 663 F. Supp.]
HAROLD H. GREENE, U.S.D.J.
Upon consideration of plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, defendant's opposition thereto, the Court having reviewed and considered all submissions by both parties in support of their positions, having found no material facts in dispute, and having found that plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and for the reasons stated in the Memorandum being issued contemporaneously herewith, it is this 8th day of July, 1987
ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for summary judgment be and it is hereby granted; and it is further
ORDERED that defendant is directed to pay the amounts specified in Arbitrator Paul E. Glendon's supplemental award of October 31, 1986, with interest as specified therein, within ten days hereof, and in all other respects to comply with Arbitrator Glendon's May 13, 1986 final remedial award.
This is an action pursuant to section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, for enforcement of an arbitration award. On March 12, 1987, the Court denied defendant's motion to dismiss which questioned the finality of the arbitrator's decision. The Court explicitly noted that, to the extent that the arbitration award was not "final," as not containing a computation of the exact sums to be paid to each employee, it was defendant's lack of compliance with the arbitrator's requirement to furnish the figures necessary to that computation that was responsible, and that defendant therefore could not complain about the lack of finality. See Memorandum and Order of March 12, 1987.
Presently pending before the Court is plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.
The litigants are an employer (Trailways) and a labor union, United Transportation Union (UTU), which were engaged in nationwide collective bargaining. In 1983, the parties reached an agreement valid from April 1, 1983 through March 31, 1985, which, as relevant for present purposes, contained a most favored nation agreement,
an agreement for setting wage rates and cost of living increases, and a binding arbitration clause.
There came a time when the union concluded that Trailways had violated the most favored nation agreement and grieved the company's actions, and the parties moved to arbitration. The arbitrator made findings on October 28, 1985 in favor of the union on the most favored nation agreement as well as on unilateral wage reductions. He also found that the union had properly grieved the violations, and that these violations were arbitrable. The arbitrator thereupon directed the company to "determine the amounts by which the economic benefits paid to UTU members under the 1983 national contracts were exceeded by the benefits paid to [members of other unions] and to compensate UTU members in the amounts necessary to equalize such benefits."
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 ...