Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Washington Mailers Union Local M-29 v. Washington Post

March 30, 2010

WASHINGTON MAILERS UNION LOCAL M-29, AFFILIATED WITH COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE WASHINGTON POST, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Re Document Nos.: 9, 10

MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT;DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

I. INTRODUCTION

The parties join this controversy on cross-motions for summary judgment. Washington Mailers Union No. 29 ("the plaintiff" or "the Union") is the exclusive bargaining agent of non-supervisory employees that work in The Washington Post's ("the defendant" or "the Post") mailrooms. The Union filed a grievance, pursuant to an expired collective bargaining agreement ("1998 CBA"), on behalf of one such employee following his termination. Because the court concludes that the plaintiff's grievance is arbitrable under the expired CBA, the court grants the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denies the defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment.

II. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The Union and the Post have been parties to numerous CBAs over the years. Joint Stipulation ¶ 2. The parties' most recent CBA was in effect from May 18, 1998 through May 18, 2003, id. ¶ 3, and laid out a Grievance and Arbitration Procedure, id., Ex. A at 2-5. At the time these motions were briefed, the parties had engaged in negotiations over the terms of a new CBA, but those negotiations had not yielded another CBA. Joint Stipulation¶ 4.

Attached to the 1998 CBA is a "Memorandum of Agreement between The Washington Post and Washington Mailers Union No. 29" ("MOA"), signed by the parties on May 18, 1998. Id., Ex. A at 43-45. The MOA contains a provision ("the lifetime job guarantee provision") that reads:

The [Post] agrees that all mailers whose names appear on the Job Guarantee Roster will be guaranteed either a full-time situation or an opportunity to work five (5) shifts per week, as set forth below, with the [Post] in accordance with the provisions of the latest collective bargaining agreement for the remainder of their working lives until their employment ceases through retirement, resignation, death or discharge for cause.

Id. at 43. Section 1(f) of the MOA states that "[t]his Job Guarantee will not be subject to amendment or revision in future collective bargaining negotiations." Id. at 44.

William Jenkins III was one of the Post employees listed on the Job Guarantee Roster. Joint Stipulation ¶ 6. Jenkins began his employment with the Post on or about November 3, 1973. Id. ¶ 7. By letter dated October 15, 2008, the Post informed Jenkins that his employment was terminated for "gross misconduct." Id. ¶ 8 &Ex. B. On October 16, 2008, the Union filed a grievance challenging Jenkins's termination, pursuant to step one of the Grievance and Arbitration Procedure. Joint Stipulation ¶ 9 & Ex. A at 3. On November 20, 2008, the Joint Standing Committee met, Joint Stipulation ¶ 10, "to hear both parties and their representatives," id., Ex. A at 3.*fn1 On or about December 4, 2008, the Union demanded that Jenkins's grievance be arbitrated, pursuant to step three of the Grievance and Arbitration Procedure. Joint Stipulation ¶ 11 & Ex. A at 3. On or about December 6, 2008, the Post formally denied Jenkins's grievance and refused to participate in arbitration. Joint Stipulation ¶ 12.

The Grievance and Arbitration Procedure of the 1998 CBA applies to any "disagreement involving an alleged violation of a specific provision of [the 1998 CBA], including a controversy over any form of discipline or discharge." Id., Ex. A. at 3. On several prior occasions, some period of time has elapsed between the expiration of one CBA and the implementation of a new one. Joint Stipulation¶ 13. During these lapses, including the one following the expiration of the 1998 CBA, the Union continued to file grievances concerning, among other issues, the discipline and termination of employees, and the Post consistently took the position that the grievances were not subject to arbitration under the expired CBA. Id. None of these grievances were ever arbitrated; however, none involved the discharge of an employee covered by the MOA and listed on the Job Guarantee Roster. Id.

On December 19, 2008, the plaintiff commenced this action, requesting that the court compel arbitration of Jenkins's grievance, pursuant to the 1998 CBA. See generally Compl. On April 14, 2009, the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Jenkins's grievance is covered by the arbitration provision of the 1998 CBA and that the grievance "arises under" that CBA. See generally Pl.'s Mot. The defendant filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, contending that the grievance is not arbitrable because the arbitration provision of the 1998 CBA did not survive expiration and because the grievance did not "arise under" that CBA. See generally Def.'s Mot. As both motions are fully briefed, the court now turns to the applicable legal standards and the parties' arguments.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Standard for a Motion for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.