Act, 9 U.S.C. § 10(a)(4), Montgomery Ward requests this Court to "vacate Arbitrator Aisenberg's new interpretation of the term 'vacancy' set forth at page 8 of the award." Compl. at 7.
Local 743 moves to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), asserting that Montgomery Ward fails to allege a contract violation actionable under § 301 of the LMRA and that Montgomery Ward fails to state a justiciable case or controversy as required by Article III, § 2 of the United States Constitution.
Rule 12(b)(1) requires that an action be dismissed if the court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of the suit. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). When a defendant moves for dismissal pursuant to 12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the heavy burden of demonstrating that the court has subject matter jurisdiction. Rogers v. Sugar Prod., 7 F.3d 577, 581 (7th Cir. 1993); Grafon Corp. v. Hausermann, 602 F.2d 781, 783 (7th Cir. 1979). In ruling on such a motion, this Court "is not bound to accept as true the allegations of the complaint which tend to establish jurisdiction where a party properly raises a factual question concerning the jurisdiction of the . . . court to proceed with the action." Hausermann, 602 F.2d at 783. Instead, this Court may consider any evidence outside of the initial pleadings submitted on the issue. Rueth v. United States Envtl. Protection Agency, 13 F.3d 227, 229 (7th Cir. 1993) ("The district court may properly look beyond the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint and view whatever evidence has been submitted on the issue to determine whether in fact subject matter jurisdiction exists."). See also NAACP v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 978 F.2d 287, 293 (7th Cir. 1992); Bowyer v. United States Dep't of Air Force, 875 F.2d 632, 635 (7th Cir. 1989); Hausermann, 602 F.2d at 783. If the evidence submitted creates a factual controversy, the district court must weigh the conflicting evidence to determine whether subject matter jurisdiction exists. Bowyer, 875 F.2d at 635-66.
Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes the Court to dismiss a case "for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). A 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss tests the sufficiency of the complaint, not the merits of the suit. Triad Assocs., Inc. v. Chicago Housing Auth., 892 F.2d 583, 586 (7th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 845, 112 L. Ed. 2d 97, 111 S. Ct. 129 (1990). The only question is whether relief is possible under any set of facts that could be established consistent with the allegations. Perkins v. Silverstein, 939 F.2d 463, 466 (7th Cir. 1991) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957)). All well-pleaded facts are taken as true, and all inferences are drawn in favor of the plaintiff. Id. A Rule 12(b)(6) motion will only be granted if "'it is beyond a doubt that the non-movant can plead no facts that would support his claim for relief.'" Palda v. General Dynamics Corp., 47 F.3d 872, 874 (7th Cir. 1995) (quoting Conley, 355 U.S. at 45-46).
Ordinarily, a court looks only to the well-pleaded facts contained in the complaint to determine if a plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be granted. Palda, 47 F.3d at 874. However, where a complaint is predicated on an underlying written instrument and that instrument is attached to the complaint, the court may also consider that document. See id. at 876; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(c) ("A copy of any written instrument which is an exhibit to any pleading is a part thereof for all purposes.") In this case we may properly consider the arbitration award (Compl. Ex. A), the CBA (Compl. Ex. B), the grievance (Compl. Ex. C), and the letters of correspondence attached as Compl. Ex. D.
Standard for Judicial Review of Labor Arbitration Awards
As the Supreme Court recognized in the "Steelworker's Trilogy," national policy favors the resolution of labor disputes through arbitration. See generally United Steelworkers v. American Mfg. Co., 363 U.S. 564, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1403, 80 S. Ct. 1343 (1960); United Steelworkers v. Warrior & Gulf Nav. Co., 363 U.S. 574, 80 S. Ct. 1347, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1409 (1960); United Steelworkers v. Enterprise Wheel & Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1424, 80 S. Ct. 1358 (1960). Consistent with this policy, the scope of judicial review of labor arbitration awards is extremely limited. See United Paperworkers Int'l Union v. Misco, Inc., 484 U.S. 29, 36, 98 L. Ed. 2d 286, 108 S. Ct. 364 (1987); Ethyl Corp. v. United Steelworkers of Am., 768 F.2d 180, 184 (7th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1010, 89 L. Ed. 2d 300, 106 S. Ct. 1184 (1986); Judsen Rubber Works, Inc. v. Manufacturing, Prod. & Serv. Workers Union Local No. 24, 889 F. Supp. 1057, 1060 (N.D. Ill. 1995). This is so, in part, because "the federal policy of settling labor disputes by arbitration would be undermined if courts had the final say on the merits of the awards." Enterprise Wheel & Car, 363 U.S. at 596. Accordingly, courts are not authorized to reconsider the merits of an arbitration award. Misco, 484 U.S. at 36; Enterprise Wheel & Car, 363 U.S. at 596.
In Enterprise Wheel & Car, the Supreme Court described the proper function of an arbitrator, as well as a reviewing court as follows:
An arbitrator is confined to interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement; he does not sit to dispense his own brand of industrial justice. He may of course look for guidance from many sources, yet his award is legitimate only so long as it draws its essence from the collective bargaining agreement. When the arbitrator's words manifest an infidelity to this obligation, courts have no choice but to refuse enforcement of the award.