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Calumet River Fleeting, Inc. v. International Union of Operating Engineers

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 4, 2015

CALUMET RIVER FLEETING, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS, LOCAL 150, AFL-CIO, Defendants

          For Calumet River Fleeting, Inc., Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Jennifer A. Dunn, Sunghee W Sohn, Michael A. Warner, Jr., Franczek Radelet PC, Chicago, IL.

         For International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, AFL-CIO, Defendant, Counter Claimant: Dale D. Pierson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Steven A. Davidson, International Union of Operating Engineers, Countryside, IL; Brad H Russell, Iuoe Local 150 Legal Department, Countryside, IL.

         For International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, AFL-CIO, ThirdParty Plaintiff: Dale D. Pierson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Steven A. Davidson, International Union of Operating Engineers, Countryside, IL.

Page 608

         MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         SHARON JOHNSON COLEMAN, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Calumet River Fleeting, Inc. (" Calumet" ) filed a two-count complaint against defendant International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, AFL-CIO (the " Union" ) seeking an injunction preventing the Union from proceeding with arbitration involving former Calumet employee Angelo Zuccolo (" Zuccolo" ) and a declaration that Calumet is not a signatory to the collective bargaining agreement compelling the Zuccolo arbitration. The Union filed counterclaims against Calumet seeking enforcement of an arbitrator's award finding that Calumet and Selvick Marine Construction, LLC (" Selvick Marine" ) are alter egos, thus binding Calumet to a collective bargaining agreement, and compelling Calumet to participate in the Zuccolo arbitration and to submit to an audit pursuant to that agreement.

Page 609

          Both parties moved for summary judgement in favor of their claims and against the other parties' claims on all counts. For the reasons stated herein, the Union's motion for summary judgment is denied and Calumet's motion is granted.

         Background

         Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are undisputed. In 1999, John M. Selvick formed Calumet, a Wisconsin corporation engaged in marine towing. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 1; Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 2.) The Union is a labor organization under the National Labor Relations Act and is incorporated in Illinois. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 11; Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 3.) It represents heavy equipment operators, mechanics and other employees in northern Illinois, northwest Indiana and eastern Iowa. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 11.) The Union is party to various collective bargaining agreements with employers that cover work in construction and related industries. ( Id. )

         The Union and Calumet were parties and signatories to a master collective bargaining agreement named the Great Lakes Floating Agreement (" GLFA" ) that was in effect from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2008. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 16; Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ ¶ 9, 10.) The GLFA automatically renewed from year to year unless a party issued a timely notice of termination. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 14; Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 11.) Calumet terminated the 2006-2008 agreement on September 26, 2008. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 17.) Calumet states that it never signed a subsequent agreement with the Union. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 11.) The Union, however, denies this fact solely on the grounds that " Calumet signed the GLFA [ ] through its alter ego, [Selvick Marine]." ( Id. )

         Selvick Marine, incorporated on April 7, 2010, was a Wisconsin company engaged in marine construction. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 19, 20.) On June 2, 2010, Selvick Marine's manager Nathan Schley signed a memorandum of agreement adopting the terms of the GLFA on behalf of Selvick Marine, effective January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2011. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 20; Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ ¶ 21, 26.) The GLFA provides for a three-step grievance procedure, beginning with an informal discussion about the grievance and concluding with arbitration between the Union and the employer. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 24.) Section 8 of the 2009-2011 GLFA contains a grievance and arbitration clause which makes arbitration awards final and binding on parties to the GLFA, but does not state that the awards are prospective or have any precedential effect. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 27.)

         On September 29 and 30, 2011, the Union filed three grievances against Selvick Marine. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ ¶ 25; Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ ¶ 28.) The grievances alleged that Selvick Marine violated the hiring hall provisions and other provisions of the GLFA when it performed work covered under the GLFA but failed to follow GLFA procedures. ( Id. ) The Union and Selvick Marine were unable to reach a resolution, and on November 4, 2011, the Union sent written arbitration demands addressed to Selvick Marine. (Def. 56.1 Reply ¶ 29.) In preparation for the arbitration, the Union served a subpoena duces tecum on Calumet, requesting information regarding the Union's dispute with Selvick Marine and the relationship between Calumet and Selvick Marine. (Pl. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 37; Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 29.) Selvick Marine moved to quash the subpoenas served against Calumet and other third parties. (Def. 56.1 Resp. ¶ 30.) The arbitrator denied the motion and motion to reconsider, finding that " Selvick Marine does not have standing to move to quash subpoenas issued to what Selvick Marine maintains are non-parties. To the extent that the Employer's motion may be read as moving to quash subpoenas issued to Calumet River

Page 610

Fleeing, Inc. and third parties, I deny the motion." (Dkt. # ...


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