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ILLINOIS PUBLIC SERVICE v. ELECTRICAL WORKERS

August 24, 2005.

CENTRAL ILLINOIS PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY (d/b/a AMERENCIPS), a subsidiary of AMEREN CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS LOCAL UNION NO. 702, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID HERNDON, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Now before the court is plaintiff Central Illinois Public Service Company's ("CIPS") Motion for Preliminary Injunction against defendant International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 702 ("IBEW"). (Doc. 4.) CIPS initially filed a Verified Complaint for Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO"), Preliminary Injunction and Other Relief, a Motion for Entry of a TRO, Motion for Entry of a Preliminary Injunction, and Supporting Memorandum. (Docs. 1, 3, 4 and 5, respectively.) IBEW timely opposed both motions. (Doc. 9.)

  In a hearing before this Court, the parties agreed to go forth with CIPS' Motion for Entry of a Preliminary Injunction, which would then render as moot CIPS' Motion for Entry of a TRO. After the conclusion of CIPS' evidence, IBEW made an oral motion for judgment as a matter of law in favor of IBEW. After taking under advisement the parties' briefs, oral arguments, and evidence presented by CIPS at the preliminary injunction hearing, in accord with FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 52, the Court finds and concludes as follows.

  II. FINDINGS OF FACT

  1. CIPS is an Illinois corporation and public utility providing electric and gas service to residential and commercial customers throughout portions of Southern and Central Illinois. (Doc. 1, ¶ 2.)

  2. IBEW is an unincorporated association and labor organization with its principal office in West Frankfort, Illinois. (Id. at ¶ 3.)

  3. IBEW represents many employees, including various employees of CIPS. (Id.)

  4. CIPS and IBEW executed a collective bargaining agreement (the "Agreement") on March 4, 2004, effective July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2007, covering an IBEW bargaining unit of employees in the Shawnee Division of CIPS, now called Division 7. (Id. at ¶ 4.) 5. The Agreement between CIPS and IBEW contains a no-strike clause under Article III, § 3.01.*fn1 (Doc. 1, Ex. A.)*fn2

  6. Section 3.02*fn3 contains a promise from IBEW to provide adequate services if employees cease work of their own volition. (Id.)

  7. In §§ 3.03-3.06, the Agreement provides a four-level dispute resolution process to resolve "any disagreement arising between [CIPS] and any employee and/or employees under this Agreement." (Id.) The grievance adjustment procedure culminates in arbitration at the demand of either party, pursuant to § 3.06. (Id.)

  8. Article I, § 1.03 of the Agreement, among other things, sets forth the conditions under which CIPS may contract out work covered under the Agreement to workers not represented by IBEW. (Id.) However, a separate Letter of Understanding from CIPS to IBEW, dated November 1, 2003, and incorporated into the Agreement, lists various types of work excluded from § 1.03 — including spraying work. (Id. at pp. 83-84.)

  9. CIPS hired a subcontractor, Owen Specialty Services ("OSS"), which employs non-Union workers, to spray herbicide along CIPS' utility right-of-ways and substations located throughout the Southern Illinois region. (Doc. 5, p. 1.)

  10. Because it felt that OSS paid its employees less than area standards wages and benefits, IBEW began lawfully picketing OSS at the hotel where its employees were staying on July 14, 2005. (Doc. 9, pp. 2-3.)

  11. On the evening of July 24, 2005, IBEW held a rally in Marion, Illinois, outside of that same hotel. (Id. at 3.)

  12. On the same evening as the IBEW rally, there was a high voltage electric line failure between a CIPS' substation and the Federal Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. (Doc. 5, p. 2.) Because this power outage occurred after normal working hours, CIPS was required to contact its employees through one of its dispatch centers to request they work "call-out overtime."*fn4 (Id.; see also James O'Daniel Preliminary Injunction Hearing testimony [rough transcript] 100:9 through 102:6.)

  13. CIPS was unable to get any positive response to its call-outs that evening from its employees who are also IBEW members (hereinafter "IBEW members"). CIPS claimed its dispatch center made over approximately 200 calls that night (including second-attempt calls) and received either no answer, an answering machine, or refusals to work the overtime due to personal reasons. (See, e.g., O'Daniel testimony [rough transcript] 106:9 ...


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