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International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Rock Island Integrated Services

July 12, 2006

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, LOCAL 371, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROCK ISLAND INTEGRATED SERVICES, A JOINT VENTURE OF DEL-JEN, INC. AND AECOM GOVERNMENT SERVICES, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael M. Mihm United States District Judge

ORDER

This matter is now before the Court on the Union's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [#16] is GRANTED.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On September 30, 2004, Plaintiff, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 371 (the "Union"), and Defendant, Rock Island Integrated Services ("RIIS"), entered into a collective bargaining agreement (the "CBA"). On or about May 16, 2005, and June 1, 2005, the Union filed grievances on behalf of an RIIS employee and bargaining unit member in accordance with the provisions of Article 24 of the CBA. The grievances are arbitrable under the CBA, which provides for mandatory and binding arbitration of unsettled grievances.

On August 25, 2005, the Union gave written notice to RIIS that it was moving the unsettled grievances to arbitration. The parties received a panel of arbitrators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service ("FMCS") on August 29, 2005, which contained the names of seven individuals. The Union contends that the parties were to select an arbitrator from this panel, but claims that RIIS has prevented the selection of an arbitrator by refusing to select any one of the seven individuals on the panel.

On October 26, 2005, RIIS filed a grievance to resolve the difference of opinion between the parties over the arbitrator selection process and application of Section 1401.11(d) of the FMCS regulations. The Union has declined to participate in mediation on this grievance, instead opting to bring the present suit in Federal Court. This action seeks to compel RIIS to select an arbitrator from the August 29, 2005, panel and arbitrate these grievances. The Union has moved for judgment on the pleadings. The matter is now fully briefed, and this Order follows.

JURISDICTION

The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, as this suit arises under § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that a party may move for judgment on the pleadings "[a]fter the pleadings are closed but within such time as not to delay the trial." A motion for judgment on the pleadings is subject to the same standards as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Guise v. BMW Mortgage, 377 F.3d 795, 798 (7th Cir. 2004). The Court must accept all well-pled allegations as true and must view those allegations in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Northern Indiana Gun & Outdoor Shows, Inc. v. City of South Bend, 163 F.3d 449, 452 (7th Cir. 1998); Thomas v. Guardsmark, Inc., 381 F.3d 701, 704 (7th Cir. 2004). Thus, dismissal is proper only if it appears "beyond doubt that the [non-moving party] can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45--6 (1957). In deciding a motion under Rule 12(c), the Court may consider only the pleadings, that is, "the complaint, the answer, and any written instruments attached as exhibits." Northern Indiana Gun & Outdoor Shows, Inc., 163 F.3d at 452.

DISCUSSION

I. Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

Here, the following facts are not in dispute. The Union and RIIS entered into a three-year CBA effective October 1, 2004. The Union filed grievances on behalf of an RIIS employee on May 16, 2005, and July 1, 2005. The parties were unable to reach an agreement on the disposition of these grievances. The grievances are arbitrable, and the parties are bound by the rules, law, and regulations of the FMCS governing the arbitrator selection procedure. The grievance procedure set forth in the CBA was followed by both the ...


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