The opinion of the court was delivered by: McDADE, District Judge.
This is an action brought by James Beck ("Beck") under
Section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, as amended,
29 U.S.C. § 185. Section 301 grants the federal courts
jurisdiction over suits alleging a violation of a collective
bargaining agreement between an employer and a labor union.
Beck is a former employee of the Defendant, Caterpillar Inc.
("Caterpillar"). While employed by Caterpillar, Beck was a
member of the Defendant, United Automobile Aerospace and
Agricultural Implement Workers of America ("UAW"). At all times
relevant to this case, Caterpillar and the UAW were parties to
a collective bargaining agreement which governed the terms and
conditions of Beck's employment.
In the instant case, Beck alleges that Caterpillar violated
the collective bargaining agreement when it separated him from
employment on April 21, 1989. Beck further contends that the
UAW breached its statutory duty to represent him fairly in the
handling of the grievance he filed protesting his separation
under the collective bargaining agreement because the UAW
withdrew the grievance prior to arbitration on August 23, 1990.
Caterpillar and the UAW now move for summary judgment on the
ground that Beck has failed to file suit within the applicable
limitations period and that his suit is, therefore, barred. For
the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motions for Summary
Judgment are granted.*fn1
As to materiality, the substantive law will identify which
facts are material. Only disputes over facts that might affect
the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly
preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that
are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted.
As to genuine issue, summary judgment will not lie if the
dispute about a material fact is "genuine," that is, if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict
for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265
(1986), Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). As
stated in Anderson, "at the summary judgment stage the judge's
function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine the
truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine
issue for trial." When a properly supported motion for summary
judgment is made, the adverse party must set forth specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. There is
no issue for trial unless there is sufficient evidence favoring
the non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict for that
party. If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not
significantly probative, or is no more than a scintilla, a
summary judgment may be granted.
The following facts are undisputed. Beck was hired by
Caterpillar in 1966. He was a member of the UAW during the
entire time Caterpillar employed him and was, at all times
relevant to the instant case, subject to the 1988 collective
bargaining agreement between Caterpillar and the UAW.
On April 21, 1989, Caterpillar terminated Beck, pursuant to
Section 14.6 of the collective bargaining agreement.*fn2 On or
about April 25, 1989, Beck filed a grievance under the
applicable collective bargaining agreement protesting his
separation from employment. On August 23, 1990, Caterpillar
denied Beck's grievance and the UAW, for reasons not relevant
here, withdrew Beck's grievance without first submitting it to
Beck challenged the UAW's withdrawal of his grievance by
pursuing intra-union appeal procedures established in the UAW
Constitution. On March 20, 1992, the UAW formally denied Beck's
intra-union appeals and, by letter to his attorney dated April
3, 1992, informed Beck that it would take no further action on
his behalf to reinstate his grievance.
On September 18, 1992, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in case
number 92-1409 in this Court. On January 14, 1993, counsel for
Beck filed a Motion for Voluntary Dismissal, which was granted
by Magistrate Judge Robert J. Kauffman without prejudice, and
the case was terminated. On January 4, 1994, Beck, acting
pro se, filed a new Complaint against Caterpillar and the UAW
alleging the same claims found in the original
suit, case number 92-1409.*fn4 The new Complaint is the basis
for the instant action and is referred to the Court as case
Beck brings this suit solely under Section 301 of the
Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, against both
Caterpillar and the UAW. In DelCostello v. International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, 462 U.S. 151, 103 S.Ct. 2281, 76
L.Ed.2d 476 (1983), the Supreme Court expressly held that a
"hybrid" Section 301 action (brought both against an employer
and a labor organization alleging breach of a collective
bargaining agreement against the employer and breach of the
duty of fair representation against the union), such as the
instant suit, is governed by the six-month statute of
limitations set forth in Section 10(b) of the National Labor
Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 160(b). See also Pantoja v. ...