United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
June 17, 2004.
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: PHILIP REINHARD, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Lynn Wichman, filed a single count complaint in the
Circuit Court of Ogle County against defendant, United Parcel
Service, Inc., to confirm an arbitration award that plaintiff's
union, Teamsters Local No. 710, reached with defendant regarding
money owed to him for earnings accrued during vacation times.
Defendant removed the case, alleging that plaintiff's claim
arises under § 301 of the Labor Relations Management Act
("LRMA"), 29 U.S.C. § 185, giving this court jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Defendant, in turn, moved to
dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) for
lack of standing and pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The
court will address the Rule 12(b)(1) motion first.
On a motion to dismiss pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(1), "the court is
not bound to accept the truth of the allegations in the
complaint." Hay v. Indiana State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs,
312 F.3d 876, 879 (7th Cir. 2002). "If a plaintiff cannot establish
standing to sue, relief from this court is not possible, and
dismissal under 12(b)(1) is the appropriate disposition." Am.
Fed'n of Gov't Employees v. Cohen, 171 F.3d 460, 465 (7th
When employees are represented by a union they are not parties
to either a collective bargaining agreement or any union-company
arbitration. Cleveland v. Porca Co., 38 F.3d 289, 296 (7th
Cir. 1994). As a result, employees generally cannot confirm an
arbitration award in court. Id. However, an exception to this
rule exists which allows an employee to confirm a union-company
arbitration award, but only if the employee states a claim for a
Section 301 fair representation case against the union. Id. To
successfully allege a Section 301 claim, the employee needs to
allege that the union's actions were "arbitrary, discriminatory,
or in bad faith." Neal v. Newspaper Holdings, Inc.,
349 F.3d 363, 369 (7th Cir. 2003).
It is uncontroverted that plaintiff was represented by his
union when the arbitration award was issued. As a result,
plaintiff was not a party to the union-company arbitration and
cannot seek to confirm the arbitration award in court. While an
exception exists for employees represented by unions to confirm
arbitration awards, the exception cannot be applied in the
present case because Wichman has not alleged that the union's
actions, as they apply to him, were arbitrary, discriminatory, or
conducted in bad faith. Consequently, Wichman has not
sufficiently alleged a fair representation claim pursuant to
Section 301, precluding his ability to use the exception
articulated in Cleveland and Neal.
Because plaintiff cannot establish standing to confirm the
arbitration award in court, the court grants defendant's motion
to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1). Having dismissed this case
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), the court need not decide the
Rule 12(b)(6) motion.
© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.