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Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters v. Sheet Metal Workers

February 1, 2011

CHICAGO REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SHEET METAL WORKERS, LOCAL 73, DEFENDANT. SHEET METAL WORKERS, LOCAL 73, DEFENDANT-COUNTER PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHICAGO REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS, PLAINTIFF-COUNTER DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge James B. Zagel

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This dispute arose when two unions, the Sheet Metal Workers, Local 73 ("Sheet Meal Workers") and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters ("Carpenters Union"), each claimed interest in work at the "Apple Store." An arbitrator awarded Sheet Metal Workers the work, but Carpenters Union argues that the arbitration award is invalid. The Parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment, the Carpenters Union asking that I invalidate the arbitration awards, and the Sheet Metal Workers asking that I enforce them. For the following reasons, I grant the Carpenters Union's motion for summary judgment and deny the Sheet Metal Workers' motion.

I. PRELIMINARY ISSUES

The Carpenters Union includes various excerpts from a business seminar created by the law firm of Hogan Marren, Ltd. entitled "Business Agents' Training Session" from the winter of 2010 in their Rule 56.1 statement of facts. As part of the training session, the seminar addressed the resolution of jurisdictional disputes by the Joint Conference Board. Sheet Metal Workers object to these statements, specifically statements 2 through 6, on the basis of hearsay. I agree. Furthermore, the handout offered in support of these statements, Exhibit I, is hearsay within the meaning of Federal Rule of Evidence 801(c). Accordingly, I will not consider statements 2 though 6 or Exhibit I of Plaintiff-Counter Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement of Facts.

II. STATEMENT OF RELEVANT FACTS

The instant complaint concerns two arbitration awards that were entered on April 17, 2010 and April 28, 2010 respectively. Both the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters ("Carpenters Union") and the Sheet Metal Workers, Local 73 ("Sheet Metal Workers") are labor organizations within the meaning of § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"). The Carpenters Union and Sheet Metal Workers are members of the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council ("the Council"), and through their membership are bound to the Standard Agreement for the resolution of jurisdictional disputes between the Construction Employers' Association ("Association") and the Council. Article VII of the Standard Agreement recognizes that the Standard Agreement is an arbitration agreement.

Bayside Interiors, Inc. ("Bayside") is a signatory to a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Carpenters Union, but is not bound to the Standard Agreement. Bayside was awarded a contract to install stainless steel siding at a construction project located at 1580 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, Illinois, known as the "Apple Store," and Bayside assigned the work to its employees represented by the Carpenters Union.

In April 2010, the Sheet Metal Workers filed a grievance with the Joint Conference Board to challenge Bayside's assignment of the installation of stainless steel siding to members of the Carpenters Union. The Carpenters Union was provided advance notice of the April 15, 2010 arbitration hearing, yet decided not to attend. On April 17, 2010, the Arbitrator issued his decision awarding the Apple Store work to the Sheet Metal Workers. The Carpenters Union, however, refused to recognize the Arbitrator's award. On April 22, 2010 the Sheet Metal Workers filed a complaint with the Secretary of the Joint Conference Board alleging that the Carpenters Union had violated the Arbitrator's award. Again, the Carpenters Union was provided with notice of the arbitration hearing. On April 28, 2010 the Arbitrator found that the Carpenters Union had violated the April 17, 2010 Award and imposed a $10,000 fine upon the Carpenters Union for noncompliance with the prior Award.

Following the Arbitrator's non-compliance award to the Sheet Metal Workers, the Carpenters threatened to shut down the Apple Store jobsite if Bayside reassigned the work to the Sheet Metal Workers. On May 7, 2010, Bayside filed a charge at the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") alleging that the Carpenters Union violated Section 8(b)(4(ii)(d) of the National Labor Relations Act by threatening to picket the job if the work was reassigned. Three days later on May 10, the Sheet Metal Workers disclaimed interest in the remaining installation at the Apple Store. On May 12, Bayside withdrew the unfair labor practice charge against the Carpenters Union. The NLRB never issued a notice of hearing pursuant to 10(k) of the National Labor Relations Act, nor did it hold a hearing concerning the work on the Apple Store Project.

The NLRB never issued a written opinion or findings concerning the jurisdictional dispute or the underlying charge.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment should be granted when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A genuine issue of triable fact exists only if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Pugh v. City of Attica, Ind., 259 F.3d 619, 625 (7th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)).

Once the moving party has set forth the basis for summary judgment, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving party who must go beyond mere allegations and offer specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). The nonmoving party must offer more than "[c]onclusory allegations, unsupported by specific facts" in order to establish a genuine issue of material fact.

Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 773 (7th Cir. 2003) (citing Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990)). A party will be successful in opposing summary judgment only if it presents "definite, competent evidence to rebut the motion." EEOC v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 233 F.3d 432, 437 (7th Cir. 2000). I consider the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and draw all reasonable inferences in the non-movant's favor. Lesch v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., 282 F.3d 467, 471 (7th Cir. 2002). I will accept the nonmoving party's version of any ...


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