limitations governing actions on arbitration awards, Ill.Rev.Stat., ch.
83 § 16 (1969), is the relevant time limitation applicable to the
instant action, and therefore this suit was timely filed.
Although the Seventh Circuit has never expressly decided whether a
motion to enforce an arbitration award properly may be brought under
section 301, of the LMRA applying the applicable state statute of
limitations after the one-year statute of limitations under section 9 of
the USAA has run, other circuits confronted with the question have held
that an action to enforce an arbitration award properly may be brought
under either the LMRA or the USAA.
In International Union v. White Motor Corporation, 374 F. Supp. 421
(D.Minn. 1973), the court specifically addressed the issue of whether the
USAA provided the sole basis of jurisdiction, or whether a motion to
enforce an arbitration award could also be brought under section 301 of
the LMRA. The court held that the USAA did not provide the sole basis of
jurisdiction and that the action was proper under section 301.
Similarly, in Santos v. District Council of New York City, 619 F.2d 963
(2d Cir. 1980), the court stated that it was an established principle of
law that an action to enforce an arbitration award properly may be
brought under section 301 of the LMRA. Accordingly, the court adopted the
Hoosier rule and applied the New York statute of limitations governing
actions on arbitration awards. See also Kallen v. District 1199, National
Union of Health Care Employees, 574 F.2d 723 (2d Cir. 1978); Local 1115
v. B & K Investments Incorporated, 85 CCH Lab.Cas. 910, 949, 100 LRRM
2174 (S.D.N Y 1978).
While the issue presented in the instant case is one of first
impression in this circuit, two recent decisions by the United States
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, when read together, clearly
imply that a motion to enforce an arbitration award may be brought under
either section 301 of the LMRA or section 9 of the USAA.
In Teamsters Local 185 v. Jefferson Trucking Company, Incorporated,
628 F.2d 1023 (7th Cir. 1980), a union filed an action pursuant to
section 301 of the LMRA, seeking enforcement of an arbitration award
rendered against the employer. The employer sought to have jurisdiction
of the action predicated upon the USAA because federal courts have
permitted a delinquent motion to vacate an award under the USAA, while
under section 301 the employer would have been precluded from attacking
the validity of the award. The court held that section 301 conferred the
jurisdictional basis for the action. Accordingly, the court adopted the
Hoosier rule and applied the Indiana version of the USAA as the
appropriate state statute of limitations. The Indiana Arbitration Act's
ninety-day statute of limitations for instituting motions to vacate
precluded the employer from bringing its motion to vacate. Subsequently,
in Milwaukee Typographical Union No. 28 v. Newspapers, Incorporated,
639 F.2d 386 (7th Cir. 1981), the court held that an action to enforce an
arbitration award properly may be brought under the USAA, if filed within
the statutory one-year time period.
Plaintiff's action was properly brought under section 301 of the LMRA,
and, pursuant to the Hoosier rule, the applicable state statute of
limitations is the Illinois Arbitration Act, Ill.Rev.Stat., ch. 83 §
16 (1969), which provides a five-year time limitation for actions on
arbitration awards. The arbitration decision and award in the instant
case was rendered on December 4, 1978. Accordingly, plaintiff's action,
filed on December 10, 1980, was timely and defendants' motion to dismiss
is denied. It is so ordered.
Alternatively, defendants contend that the arbitration award is
ambiguous and incomplete as it determined only the issue of liability and
did not specify the amounts due each employee. They argue that such
ambiguity renders the award unenforceable by this Court. In United
Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel & Car Corporation,
363 U.S. 593, 80 S?Ct. 1358, 4 L.Ed.2d 1424 (1960), the Supreme Court was
confronted with a motion to enforce an arbitration
award which ordered the reinstatement of employees with back pay, minus
pay for a ten-day suspension and sums the employees received from other
employment. The Court held that the award was ambiguous and thus
unenforceable as it failed to specify the exact amounts to be deducted
from the back pay. The Court remanded the case to the district court ".
. . so that the amounts due the employees may be definitely determined by
arbitration." United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel & Car
Corporation, 363 U.S. at 599, 80 S.Ct. at 1362. See also San Antonio
Newspaper Guild, Local No. 25 v. San Antonio Light Division, 481 F.2d 821
(5th Cir. 1973); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local
369 v. Olin Corporation, 471 F.2d 468 (6th Cir. 1972); Hanford Atomic
Metal Trades Council v. General Electric Company, 353 F.2d 302 (9th Cir.
In the instant case, the arbitration award merely determined that the
Gorr employees were entitled to their full 1977 vacation pay plus the
appropriate proration up to January 15, 1978. However, the award fails to
specify the amounts due each employee. Accordingly, the award is
incomplete and this cause must be remanded to the arbitrator for
clarification of the award in conformity with this opinion. It is so