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WAREHOUSE, MAIL ORDER, ETC. v. COLUMBIA RUSTPROOF

October 19, 1982

WAREHOUSE, MAIL ORDER, OFFICE, TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 743, ETC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
COLUMBIA RUSTPROOF, INC., DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Warehouse, Mail Order, Office, Technical and Professional Employees, Local 743, I.B.T. ("Local 743") has moved that Columbia Rustproof, Inc. ("Columbia") be held in contempt for failure to comply with this Court's September 24, 1981 memorandum opinion and order (the "Order"). Columbia counters by seeking dismissal of the contempt proceeding and other relief. For reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order Local 743's motion is denied and Columbia's motion for dismissal (but not for other relief) is granted. But for other reasons also expressed in this opinion, such dismissal may give Columbia only temporary — and cold — comfort.

Facts

Local 743 initially sued Columbia for enforcement of a February 10, 1981 arbitration award (the "Award").*fn1 After the parties had briefed the issues, the Order granted Local 743's motion for summary judgment and ordered Columbia "to comply with the arbitrator's award" (Order 5).

In July 1982 Local 743 moved for issuance of a rule to show cause why Columbia should not be held in contempt for having failed to comply with the Order.*fn2 Local 743 cites two acts of noncompliance:

    1. Columbia did not permit employee Ira Jones ("Jones") to return to
  won until November 5, 1981, despite the Award's February 10 order for his
  rein statement.
    2. Columbia refused to pay Jones for losses he incurred as a result of
  the delayed reinstatement ("back wages").

Local 743 also seeks an award of attorney' fees for having to pursue the issue.

Columbia denies it has failed to comply with the Award or the Order. Specifically Columbia asserts:

    1. It has afforded Jones the continuing opportunity to perform the work
  the arbitrator ruled must be made available to him.
    2. Neither the Award nor the Order required the payment of "back wages"
  to Jones.

Columbia asks not only for dismissal of the contempt proceeding*fn3 but also for attorney's fees for having to defend this matter.

This Courts Civil Contempt Power

Local 743 invokes this Court's civil contempt power.*fn4 Two requirements must be met before that ...


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