The opinion of the court was delivered by: Foreman, Chief Judge:
Plaintiff, Roadmaster Corporation (Roadmaster), has brought
this suit seeking vacation of an arbitration award rendered
against it and in favor of defendant, Production & Maintenance
Employees Local 504 (Local 504). Local 504 has counterclaimed
asking this Court to find the award enforceable, however the
union does not seek enforcement of the entire award at this time.
Both sides have moved for summary judgment on their claims and
this Court heard argument addressing the motions on March 20,
1987. The factual and procedural background surrounding the
ongoing dispute between union and company is somewhat
complicated. Though the issue before the Court is whether or not
the arbitrator exceeded his authority, the Court finds it
provident to outline the factual and procedural background
Roadmaster is a privately held Delaware corporation licensed to
do business in Illinois. Its principal place of business is a
bicycle manufacturing plant located in Olney, Illinois. In
November, 1982, Roadmaster entered into a collective bargaining
agreement with United Employees Union Number One covering the
terms and conditions of employment of Roadmaster plant employees.
The agreement was to be effective from December 1, 1982 to
February 28, 1986.
In the summer of 1985 the bargaining unit employees struck over
wage concessions being sought in a company initiated wage
re-opener. During the strike, the company hired between 500 and
600 permanent replacements. Also, during the strike, members of
United Employees Union Number One voted to merge with Local 771
of the Laborers' International Union of North America. The
officers of both unions sent notification to the company on
August 6, 1987 stating that the two unions accepted Roadmaster's
last offer and that employees would return to work the next day.
The company took the position that the employees were not
entitled to return immediately as permanent replacements had been
The merger between Union Number One and Local 771 had not been
finalized at the time the employees voted to return to work.
Thereupon, another meeting was held to decide whether the
employees should affiliate directly with the Laborers Union by
establishing a separate local union. As union officials did not
have a list of replacement employees, they requested Roadmaster
to post notice of the meeting at the plant and to provide a list
of the names of all bargaining unit employees. The company
refused both requests. The meeting was held after notice was
published in the local media and the employees voted in favor of
affiliating. Local 504 was thereafter chartered.
From August, 1985 until March 6, 1986, Roadmaster expressed
reservations and concerns as to which union was actually entitled
to recognition. Grievances were filed by Local 504 over actions
taken by the company allegedly out of concern over which labor
organization was entitled to recognition. On December 16, 1985,
Roadmaster sent identical letters to officials of Local 504,
Local 771 and United Employees Union Number One. The letters were
the same except for the name of the union. The letter to Local
This letter and notice is not to be construed as
recognition of Production and Maintenance Employees
Local 504 as the collective bargaining representative
of the Production and Maintenance Employees at
Roadmaster Corporation. Further, this notice does not
constitute a waiver and is without prejudice of any
rights the employer has or may have to assert that
Production and Maintenance Employees Local 504 is not
the collective bargaining representative of
Roadmaster Corporation's Production and Maintenance
Employees under the National Labor Relations Act.
This notice is given solely for purposes of
terminating the collective bargaining agreement set
to expire at 12 o'clock midnight, February 28, 1986.
Between the time the letters were sent and the date the
contract was to expire grievances were filed and suits to compel
arbitration were started. The company did not offer to negotiate
with Local 504 over possible terms of a new contract. This Court
ordered the parties to arbitration on two grievances and after
the contract date had expired more grievances were filed. Orders
to compel were made and various awards rendered. After the dust
settled, the four grievances left at the time were submitted to
arbitrator Robert G. Howlett for resolution. It is arbitrator
Howlett's award, or at least a portion of it, which is the
subject matter of the instant suit.
Arbitrator Howlett decided in favor of Roadmaster on two
grievances dealing with employee recall and job bidding
respectively. His award as to those grievances is not questioned.
A grievance dealing with union security provisions, specifically
dues checkoffs which the company refused to make or tender, was
decided in favor of the union. The company does not contest the
finding of liability in the award, however the exact amount owing
is dependent on another part of the award which is challenged.
Roadmaster challenges the arbitrator's award in favor of the
union on the grievance concerning the termination of rollover of
It is the union's contention that the collective bargaining
agreement between the parties rolled over and became effective
for another year after midnight on February 28, 1986. Local 504
argues that Article 34 of the contract was not complied with by
Roadmaster, as they failed to offer to negotiate after giving
notice of termination. Roadmaster argues that notice was all ...