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E.T. SIMONDS CONST. CO. v. LOCAL 1330 OF INT. HOD CAR.

March 30, 1962

E.T. SIMONDS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, A CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LOCAL 1330 OF INTERNATIONAL HOD CARRIERS' BUILDING AND COMMON LABORERS' UNION OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, AND SOUTHERN ILLINOIS DISTRICT COUNCIL OF INTERNATIONAL HOD CARRIERS' BUILDING AND COMMON LABORERS' UNION OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Juergens, District Judge.

Plaintiff E.T. Simonds Construction Company (hereinafter referred to as employer) filed its complaint alleging a violation of contract between it and the defendants, labor organizations.

Jurisdiction is founded on Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, as amended (29 U.S.C.A. § 185). Plaintiff is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware and is authorized to do business in the State of Illinois and at the time of the occurrence, out of which this action arises, was engaged in highway construction in Union County, Illinois. Defendants Local 1330 of International Hod Carriers Building and Common Laborers Union of America, AFL-CIO, and Common Laborers Union of America, AFL-CIO (hereinafter referred to as unions), are labor organizations and at all times mentioned herein were the collective bargaining representatives for common and semi-skilled laborers on the highway construction project on which the plaintiff was engaged.

Employer and unions entered into an agreement covering the rates of pay, hours of employment, working conditions and other obligations concerning the work to be performed by the employer on the highway construction project. The contract was in full force and effect during the time of the occurrence out of which this action arises.

The complaint alleges that on or about Tuesday, October 18, 1960, the unions ceased work and walked off employer's job without authorization or approval of the plaintiff and left their employment contrary to and in violation of Article 13 of the agreement between the parties; that the union members remained away from the work from October 18, 1960, until October 25, 1960, when they returned to the job. Article 13 of the agreement provides as follows:

"ARTICLE NO. 13 "ARBITRATION

    "There shall be no stoppage of work on account of
  any differences that might occur between the
  Contractor and the Union, or between different crafts
  on the work. If matters cannot be adjusted quickly,
  between the representatives of the Individual
  Contractor and the Local Business Agent, the matter
  shall be immediately referred to a Board consisting
  of six (6) members, three to be appointed by the
  Contractor, and three to be appointed by the Union,
  and these six members shall have the authority to
  choose a seventh member, if and when they deem it
  necessary."

The defendant unions filed separate answers and separate counterclaims. The counterclaims, although separate, are identical.

The counterclaims allege a violation of the employment contract. They further allege that on or about October 18, 1960, the employer discharged without just or proper cause employees represented by the unions, locked out the employees and refused to permit them to continue working for plaintiff at their regular employment in violation of Article 13 of the contract; that the acts of the plaintiff caused a work stoppage.

Both plaintiff and defendants claim damages for violation of Article 13 of the agreement.

The employer contends the unions caused a work stoppage in violation of Article 13. The defendants by their counterclaims assert that a work stoppage occurred and that the work stoppage was the fault of the employer.

According to the allegations of both parties, it is clear that a work stoppage did occur and that the work stoppage was a violation of Article 13 of the agreement.

The defendants have filed their motion to stay this action pending arbitration, asserting that Article 13 of the agreement provides a grievance procedure and that under the provisions of Article 13 the intent is that any and all difficulties or disputes which develop or occur during the existence of the agreement are to be arbitrated, and further assert that the defendants have advised plaintiff that they are willing to submit the matter to arbitration. They now move for an order to stay this cause pending arbitration.

It is beyond dispute that a work stoppage did in fact occur and it is beyond dispute that this work stoppage was a violation of the provisions of the agreement between employer and unions. The differences of opinion and claims for damages stem from the divergence of views as to the cause for the work stoppage. Each blames the other.

The sole question presented by the motion is whether or not the violation of the no-work stoppage provision of the contract is a matter which may ...


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