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