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Gardner Denver, Inc. v. District No. 9 Local Lodge 822

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

September 2, 2014

GARDNER DENVER, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT NO. 9 LOCAL LODGE 822, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, Defendant.

OPINION

RICHARD MILLS, District Judge.

Pending is the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. Pending also is the Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Gardner Denver, Inc. ("the Plaintiff" or "the Company") filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment against Defendant District No. 9 Local Lodge 822, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ("the Defendant" or "the Union"). The dispute concerns changes to retiree medical benefits for current retirees of the Company and whether they are within the scope of the parties' collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or are arbitrable under the contractual grievance procedure.

The Union filed a Counterclaim to Compel Arbitration. It seeks summary judgment on Count I of its Counterclaim to compel the Plaintiff to arbitrate a dispute over retiree medical benefits pursuant to the parties' CBA.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The Company is an employer engaged in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. §§ 142 and 152. The Union is a labor organization representing employees in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. §§ 142 and 152. The Parties have had a collective bargaining relationship for over 60 years. The Union and the Company are parties to a CBA, effective May 6, 2012, to which both parties are bound.

Prior to 1991, the Company provided a retiree benefits package governed by the Gardner Denver Retiree Medical Plan. The medical plan included, among other things, an agreement to pay the majority of the insurance premiums. Article 12 Section 12.5 of the CBA reads as follows:

RETIREE MEDICAL PHASE OUT AND SUPPLEMENTAL IARP CONTRIBUTION PLAN

Effective October 1, 1991, for employees who turn 49 or less in 1991 and are employed prior to May 1, 1991, eliminate medical insurance coverage at retirement and add the following contributions to their Individual Retirement Plan on a weekly basis for any week in which the employee has contribution hours under the Plan:

Age Turned Weekly In 1991[1] Contribution 25 or younger $2.31 26 $2.54 27 $3.00 28 $3.46 29 $3.92 30 $4.38 31 $4.85 32 $5.31 33 $5.77 34 $6.23 35 $6.69 36 $7.15 37 $7.85 38 $8.54


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