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TRUCK DRIVERS, OIL DRIVERS, ETC. v. ALMARC MFG.

November 26, 1982

TRUCK DRIVERS, OIL DRIVERS, FILLING STATION & PLATFORM WORKERS, LOCAL 705, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ALMARC MANUFACTURING, INC., DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Truck Drivers, Oil Drivers, Filling Station & Platform Workers, Local 705, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America ("Local 705") has sued Almarc Manufacturing, Inc. ("Almarc") to enforce an arbitration award. This Court has conducted an evidentiary hearing (the "Hearing") on Local 705's motion for a preliminary injunction to require Almarc to reinstate its 14 fired truck drivers pending the decision on the merits of this action. In accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 52(a) this memorandum opinion and order reflects the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. For the reasons stated in this opinion, Local 705's motion for a preliminary injunction is granted.

Findings of Fact ("Findings")

Based on the evidence at the Hearing this Court finds, and therefore also finds that on the ultimate trial on the merits Local 705 has a substantial probability of establishing, that:

1. Local 705 is a labor organization within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. § 152(5), a provision of the Labor-Management Relations Act (the "Act"). Local 705's offices are located within this judicial district.

2. Almarc is a corporation with its principal place of business located at 2201 Lunt Avenue, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, also within this judicial district.

4. Local 705 and Almarc have been parties to a collective bargaining agreement (the "Agreement"), which by its terms has been effective from November 1, 1979, through October 31, 1982. Under the Agreement Local 705 is the collective bargaining agent of certain drivers employed by Almarc.

5. On August 18, 1982*fn1 the drivers represented by Local 705 commenced a strike against Almarc. Almarc responded by discharging each of the striking drivers, 14 in all.

6. On August 19 Almarc commenced an action in this Court (the "Almarc suit," No. 82 C 5133) seeking to restrain Local 705 and one of its officers, Louis Pieck, from engaging in or otherwise authorizing picketing, work stoppages and related strike activities in and around Almarc's facilities. Almarc alleged the strike by its drivers violated Article 33 of the Agreement, which provides "[t]here shall be no strike . . . during the term of this Agreement. . . ."

7. On August 19 Judge Nicholas J. Bua*fn2 issued a temporary restraining order in the Almarc suit, enjoining Local 705 from engaging in strike activities in and around Almarc's facilities. On August 24 Local 705 responded by telegraphic notice to Almarc to attend a Grievance Board hearing on August 26 to consider certain unresolved grievances. Article 16 of the Agreement provides for such a procedure in the following terms:

  If any grievance arises during the term of this
  Agreement and cannot be settled between the
  parties, then a Grievance Board of Six (6)
  members, three (3) Company and three (3) Union,
  shall meet monthly to satisfactorily resolve said
  grievances. The decisions of the grievance board
  shall be final and binding on all parties.

8. On August 26 the Grievance Board hearing was held at Local 705's offices. Almarc participated in the hearing under protest and has asserted a number of procedural objections to the proceedings. At the conclusion of the hearing the Grievance Board went into executive session and, by majority vote, reached the following decision and award (the "Award"):

Upon motion, the Board by majority action holds that:

    1. The Company has seriously and continuously
  violated the contract
    2. That the Union strike was protected under
  the circumstances and was not a violation of the
  contract
    3. That the Company violated the contract and
  attempted to undermine the Union status
    4. That the Company violated the contract by
  discharging Lief Jernstad and he should be
  returned to work and paid for loss wages and for
  health-welfare and pension
    5. That the Company improperly discharged the
  drivers when they honored the Union's picket line
  and/or refused to work and the men should be
  returned to work and paid for lost wages and for
  health & welfare and pension
    6. That the Company cannot require the drivers
  to take lie detector test until they meet with
  the Union and obtain approval of a lie detector
  policy to apply in the future
9.  Item (5) of the Award requires the immediate
reinstatement of all of the striking drivers previously
terminated by Almarc. Almarc has refused to comply with the
Award, and this action was brought to enforce the Award. Local
705's current

motion is for a preliminary injunction to compel such rehiring
pending determination of the ultimate merits.

10. On August 30 Judge Aspen issued a memorandum opinion and order dissolving the temporary restraining order "[b]ecause the nature of the underlying dispute has shifted since the issuance of the temporary restraining order. . . ." On September 7 Judge Aspen issued a second memorandum opinion and order (the "Opinion," Ex. 1 to this memorandum opinion and order) denying Almarc's motion for a preliminary and permanent injunction against Local 705's strike and picketing activity, and granting Local 705's motion for summary judgment. In reaching that decision, Judge Aspen held the Grievance Board Hearing and Award, followed by Almarc's non-compliance, relieved Local 705 from its no-strike pledge.*fn3

11. In response to this action to enforce the Award, Almarc has interposed not only an answer but also a counterclaim asking that the Award be vacated and declared "null, void, and unenforceable." Almarc's like arguments, made before Judge Aspen, were rejected in the Opinion.

12. Six of the 14 drivers discharged by Almarc testified during the Hearing. Their testimony established the following uncontroverted facts:

    (a) Each has made substantial and unsuccessful
  efforts to obtain other regular employment since
  having been fired by Almarc. None was able to do
  so. Those who were more fortunate in their
  efforts had obtained at best short-term part-time
  employment; others had been unable to obtain any
  employment at all. Those receiving unemployment
  ...

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