Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.



December 28, 1990

DOW JONES & COMPANY, INC., Publisher of the Wall Street Journal in Naperville, Defendant

William T. Hart, United States District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: HART



 Plaintiff Chicago Typographical Union No. 16 (the "Union") represents 17 employees of defendant Dow Jones & Company, Inc.'s (the "Journal") Naperville, Illinois facility. That facility produces the Midwest Edition of the Wall Street Journal and the Union's members work in the facility's composing room. The employees work under a collective bargaining agreement dated June 19, 1987 (the "Agreement") which expired December 31, 1989, but remains in effect pending negotiations (which have been underway for more than a year) or other action. *fn1" In November 1990, the Journal informed the Union that it was transferring composing room and other operations for the Midwest Edition to its Dallas plant effective January 31, 1991, which would result in the elimination of about 40 of the Naperville facility's 134 positions, including the positions of all 17 employees represented by the Union. On November 16, 1990, the Union demanded that the notice of termination be rescinded because it was in violation of the Agreement or alternatively demanded arbitration. *fn2" It was further requested that the two sides jointly agree to an impartial chairman of the Joint Standing Committee by November 29, 1990 so that the grievance could be resolved in advance of the proposed termination date. No agreement was reached and the Journal refuses to select an arbitrator. Presently pending is plaintiff's motion to compel expedited arbitration and for an injunction maintaining the status quo pending arbitration. Plaintiff represents that, if expedited arbitration is ordered, a decision can be issued by January 31.

 Citing Chicago Typographical Union No. 16 v. Chicago Sun-Times, Inc., 860 F.2d 1420 (7th Cir. 1988), defendant argues no dispute exists prior to the date the employees are actually terminated. That case, however, is distinguishable in that it did not involve any actual threat of action by the employer. See id. at 1426 ("to prevail in this case, the Union must show that the Sun-Times has acted, or threatened to act, in a manner inconsistent with the Union's interpretation of the contract" (emphasis supplied)). Here, a controversy exists because an actual notice of termination has issued. See Chicago Typographical Union No. 16 v. Chicago Sun-Times, Inc., 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7639, No. 89 C 3615 (N.D. Ill. June 28, 1989). Defendant also states that no arbitration should be ordered because, in light of further negotiations that it has instituted regarding the terminations, the Agreement under which plaintiff seeks arbitration will not be in existence by the time the terminations actually occur. Regardless of the accuracy of such prediction, the Agreement presently exists and the Union has the right to invoke the grievance procedure pursuant to the Agreement. Defendant does not contest that, given a ripe controversy, the subject of the dispute between the parties is arbitrable. *fn3" Arbitration will be ordered.

  The next question is whether expedited arbitration should be compelled. Defendant asserts, without any supporting argument or citations, that it has not expressly agreed to expedited arbitration and, therefore, this court has no authority to order it. *fn4" Plaintiff argues that defendant's delay in making a selection from the available panel of arbitrators and the need for an expeditious decision justifies compelling expedited arbitration. *fn5" Plaintiff cites no case directly on point and none have been found. Instead, plaintiff cites to the general proposition that, under ยง 301, courts have the power to "fashion remedies even though lacking in express statutory sanction and that 'the range of judicial inventiveness [under section 301] will be determined by the nature of the problem.'" Rozay's Transfer v. Local Freight Drivers Local 208, 850 F.2d 1321, 1335 (9th Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1030, 109 S. Ct. 1768, 104 L. Ed. 2d 203 (1989) (quoting Textile Workers v. Lincoln Mills, 353 U.S. 448, 457, 1 L. Ed. 2d 972, 77 S. Ct. 912 (1957)). Rozay's did not involve arbitration, it involved the question of whether tort-like, make-whole remedies could be awarded for contract breaches and the Ninth Circuit determined they could be. In International Association of Machinists v. Howmet Corp., 466 F.2d 1249 (9th Cir. 1972), however, the court indicated that the policy behind labor laws could be taken into consideration in determining the enforceability of arbitration provisions.


The Supreme Court held in the Steelworkers Trilogy that the underlying objective of the policy favoring the resolution of disputes by arbitration is that of avoiding industrial strife and promoting industrial harmony through a fair, fast, and flexible system utilizing neutral but knowledgeable "peace-makers." That objective is served by a strong judicial policy, initiated by the Trilogy, of broadly construing the arbitration clauses of collective bargaining agreements and requiring the disputing parties to arbitrate whenever their agreement is possibly susceptible of an interpretation permitting such action. However, when situations arise, as here, in which the objective of avoiding industrial strife and disharmony would not be served by compelling arbitration, a court has the obligation to examine the potential consequences of compelling arbitration and to tailor its order accordingly.

 Id. at 1253.

 Here, defendant breached the Agreement by refusing to cooperate in the arbitration decision. This breach caused a delay in the arbitration process that prevents the parties from completing the agreed-upon procedures prior to the time the employees will have their jobs terminated. Section 5 of the parties' Agreement states that "the committee shall . . . proceed with all dispatch possible to settle the dispute." Section 13 of the Agreement provides that "the language and spirit of this Agreement guarantee the prompt and faithful performance . . . of all obligations imposed by the terms . . . without waiting for the consideration or adjustment of any differences of opinion respecting the rights of either party" and that a "difference or dispute shall be promptly resolved." These provisions are consistent with, and suggest the appropriateness of, expedited arbitration.

 Expedited arbitration will benefit both parties. Uncertainty will be avoided by having a decision in hand by the time of the proposed termination date. While defendant will not have an opportunity to directly select the arbitrator, the arbitrator will still be a neutral party, which is the purpose behind the joint selection process contained in the contract. Since defendant has not presented any adequate argument as to why expedited arbitration should not be compelled, expedited arbitration will be ordered.

 Plaintiff also requests an injunction requiring defendant to maintain its current composing room operations in Naperville during the pendency of the arbitration proceeding. Plaintiff must make an adequate showing to justify such an injunction. See generally Local Lodge No. 1266 v. Panoramic Corp., 668 F.2d 276 (7th Cir. 1981) (setting forth the factors to consider). However, because expedited arbitration proceedings can be completed prior to the time the employees' positions will be eliminated, there is no need for an injunction pending arbitration. *fn6" Cf. Communications Workers of America v. Western Electric Co., 430 F. Supp. 969, 979-80 (S.D.N.Y. 1977). The request for a status quo injunction pending arbitration will be denied without prejudice.

 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant:

 (1) Ordering the parties to forthwith submit the issue raised in plaintiff's November 16, 1990 grievance to arbitration pursuant to the Expedited Labor Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association.

 (2) Ordering arbitration proceedings be fully completed prior to January 31, 1991 or any date mutually agreed upon by the parties and the neutral arbitrator.

 (3) Denying plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction without prejudice.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.