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T. McGann Plumbing, Inc. v. Chicago Journeymen Plumbers' Local 130

November 13, 2007

T. MCGANN PLUMBING, INC. PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHICAGO JOURNEYMEN PLUMBERS' LOCAL 130, U.A.; PLUMBERS' PENSION FUND, LOCAL 130, U.A.; PLUMBERS' WELFARE FUND, LOCAL UNION 130, U.A.; TRUST FUND FOR APPRENTICE AND JOURNEYMEN EDUCATION AND TRAINING, LOCAL UNION 130, U.A.; THE PLUMBING COUNCIL OF CHICAGOLAND; AND CHICAGO JOURNEYMEN PLUMBERS' LOCAL UNION 130, U.A.; GROUP LEGAL SERVICES PLAN FUND, DEFENDANTS.
JAMES T. SULLIVAN, NOT INDIVIDUALLY BUT AS TRUSTEE OF PLUMBERS' PENSION FUND, LOCAL 130, U.A.; PLUMBERS' WELFARE FUND, LOCAL 130, U.A.; THE TRUST FUND FOR APPRENTICE AND JOURNEYMEN EDUCATION AND TRAINING, LOCAL 130, U.A.; CHICAGO JOURNEYMEN PLUMBERS' LOCAL UNION 130, U.A.; GROUP LEGAL SERVICES PLAN FUND; CHICAGO JOURNEYMEN PLUMBERS' LOCAL 130, U.A.; AND PLUMBING COUNCIL OF CHICAGOLAND, COUNTERPLAINTIFFS,
v.
T. MCGANN PLUMBING, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, COUNTERDEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morton Denlow United States Magistrate Judge

Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In this action, Plaintiff T.McGann Plumbing, Inc. ("Plaintiff") seeks to set aside and vacate an arbitration award ("Award") issued by the Joint Arbitration Board ("JAB") that was convened pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between Plaintiff and Defendants Chicago Journeymen Plumbers' Local Union 130, U.A. (misnamed as Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130, U.A.), et al. (collectively, "Defendants"). Defendants and Counterplaintiffs James T. Sullivan, not individually but as Trustee of Plumbers' Pension Fund, Local 130 U.A., et al. (collectively, "Counterplaintiffs") seek to enforce the Award. Before the Court is Plaintiff's motions to compel the production of documents and depositions pursuant to subpoenas issued to the JAB, D.S.M. Siegel, Ltd., and Kevin Sherlock, and Defendants' and Counterplaintiffs' Motion to Quash the subpoenas. The motions raise the issues of the appropriate scope of discovery in proceedings to vacate or enforce an arbitration award. For the following reasons, the Court grants in part and denies in part Plaintiff's motion, and grants in part and denies in part Defendants' and Counterplaintiffs' motion.

I. BACKGROUND FACTS

A. The Complaint

On July 26, 2006, the JAB convened to hear certain grievances made by the Union against Plaintiff. Comp. ¶ 8. Shortly after the hearing, the JAB issued a Decision and Award, wherein the JAB ordered Plaintiff to pay a fine to each Defendant. Comp. ¶ 9 and Ex. A. The Decision and Award also ordered other relief against Plaintiff, including the payment of interest and the entry of injunctive relief. Comp. ¶ 10 and Ex. A. On November 29, 2006, Plaintiff filed a complaint requesting this Court to vacate and set aside the JAB's Decision and Award based on the following reasons:

A. Contrary to the CBA, the JAB was not comprised of ten members, consisting of five members appointed by the Plumbing Contractors Association of Chicago and Cook County and five members appointed by the Union;

B. The Decision and Award does not draw its essence from the Collective Bargaining Agreement, is contrary to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and is not drawn from federal law;

C. The Decision and Award is not supported by evidence presented at the hearing before the JAB; and

D. The JAB exceeded their powers by ordering McGann to cease and desist from violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement in any like or similar manner.

Comp. ¶ 11.

In its answer, Defendants included as affirmative defenses the allegations that Plaintiff waived all arguments and claims not presented to the JAB, that Plaintiff's averments are insufficient under law to warrant vacating or modifying the JAB Decision and Award, and that Plaintiff's complaint is untimely and time-barred. Answer ¶ II.1-4.

B. Arbitration Procedure Under the Agreement

The parties agreed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement ("Agreement") to arbitrate any disagreements or disputes involving the Agreement. Agreement, Art. III, § 3.1 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, § 3.1 (2001-2004). Article III of the Agreement sets forth the manner in which the arbitration hearing will be held. Agreement, Art. III, § 3.1 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, § 3.1 (2001-2004).Under Article III, all disputes shall be submitted to a Joint Arbitration Board, which shall be comprised of ten members, consisting of five members appointed by the Plumbing Contractors Association of Chicago and Cook County and five members appointed by the Union. Agreement, Art. III, § 3.2 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, § 3.2 (2001-2004).

The JAB will primarily hear actions involving the negative results of an audit, or any alleged breach of contract. An action "will be brought before the JAB when any audit reveals that a licensed journeyman plumber and/or apprentice or any other party who performs jurisdictional work has not been paid the prevailing rate." Agreement, Art. III, § 3.3 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, § 3.3 (2001-2004). In the event of any other alleged contract violation, where the parties cannot otherwise resolve the dispute, a Union representative must notify the Secretary of the JAB in writing of the dispute. Agreement, Art. III, § 3.4 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, § 3.4 (2001-2004).

After receiving notice of a dispute, the Secretary of the JAB must send the Employer written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing before the JAB regarding the dispute, along with a copy of the written notice of the dispute. Agreement, Art. III, § 3.5 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, § 3.5 (2001-2004).At the hearing, the JAB members shall hear the evidence in the case and render a decision in writing, signed by the Secretary of the JAB. Agreement, Art. III, § 3.5 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, § 3.5 (2001-2004).This decision will be by majority vote, and will be final and binding on the parties to the Agreement. Agreement, Art. III, §§ 3.5, 3.6 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, §§ 3.5, 3.6 (2001-2004).The Secretary of the JAB is responsible for making "the official minutes or transcription of the hearing. No other recording of the hearing is permitted." Agreement, Art. III, § 3.5 (1995-1998); Agreement, Art. III, § 3.5 (2001-2004).The JAB will have full power to ...


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