United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
motions are pending before the Court: a Motion for
Reconsideration (Doc. 43) filed by Brock Industrial Services,
LLC (“Brock”) and a Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 42) filed by Laborers International Union of North
America, Construction & General Laborers Local #100
(“Laborers”). For the reasons set forth below,
the Court denies Brock's Motion for Reconsideration and
grants Laborers' Motion for Summary Judgment.
And Procedural Background
action arises out of a contract dispute between Brock and
Laborers. Specifically, Brock seeks to have the April 14,
2016 decision by the National Maintenance Agreement Policy
Committee, Inc. (“NMAPC”) Grievance Review
Subcommittee (“GRS”) vacated by this Court.
facts leading to the GRS decision are largely uncontested.
Brock and Laborers agreed to the National Maintenance
Agreement collective bargaining agreement (NMA) with an
effective date of January 7, 2016. (Doc. 1-3, p. 11). The NMA
provides in pertinent part that “[e]xcept for
jurisdictional and general wage rates disputes…all
disputes and grievances arising out of work performed under
this Agreement…shall be resolved…”through
the procedure outlined in Article VI- Grievances of the NMA
(Article VI). (Doc. 1-3, p. 15). Article VI requires the
parties to submit any unresolved grievances to the NMACP for
arbitration. (Doc. 1-3, p. 15). For work jurisdictional
disputes, a different procedure under the NMA applies. (Doc.
1-3, p. 12-13, specifically, Article I, Sections 6-12). A
work jurisdiction dispute is “a dispute between two or
more groups of employees over which are entitled to do
certain work for an employer.” Hutter Const. Co. v.
Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs, Local 139,
AFL-CIO, 862 F.2d 641, 644 (7th Cir. 1988).
employed Laborers to construct scaffolding at the Afton
Chemical Plant. (Doc. 1-3, p. 56). However, on January 8,
2016, Brock notified Laborers that they were laid off and
that scaffolding work at the Afton Chemical Plant would be
assigned to the International Brotherhood of Carpenters
(“Carpenters”). (Doc. 18-1; Doc. 1-3, p. 56).
Laborers notified the NMAPC via letter on January 11, 2016,
that Brock violated the NMA when it wrongfully terminated
Laborers and subsequently awarded the scaffolding work to
Carpenters. (Doc. 1-3, pp. 34-35). On January 21, 2016,
Laborers also notified Carpenters that there was a work
jurisdiction dispute between their respective organizations
over the scaffolding work. (Doc. 1-3, p. 37).
accordance with Article VI, Laborers filed a grievance with
the NMAPC alleging that a wrongful termination of
Laborers' members had occurred on January 8, 2016, and
seeking the reinstatement of those members. (Doc. 1-3, p.
39). Brock responded to the grievance, asserting that the
dispute relating to the January 8, 2016 layoff was a work
jurisdiction dispute and was therefore beyond the scope of
the NMAPC's arbitration authority. (Doc. 1-3, pp. 54-56).
Brock further requested that the grievance be dismissed and
denied. (Doc. 1-3, p. 56).
denied Brock's request to dismiss, and on April 14, 2016,
sustained the grievance finding a violation of Article I,
Section 5, of the NMA. (Doc. 1-3, p. 3). Article 1, Section
5, states that “[d]uring the existence of the
Agreement, there shall be no strikes, lockouts, work
stoppages, or picketing arising out of any jurisdictional
dispute. Work will continue as originally assigned, pending
resolution of the dispute.” (Doc. 1-3, p. 12). The GRS
concluded that Brock violated that section when it made a
“change of assignment.” (Doc. 1-3, p. 3).
12, 2016, Brock filed suit against Laborers pursuant to
Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act
(“LMRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 185, seeking to have
the GRS decision vacated on the basis that it was outside the
scope of the GRS's arbitration authority. (Doc. 1, p. 2).
Subsequently, the parties filed four motions with the Court,
one by Brock and three by Laborers, all of which were
interrelated. Specifically, on August 2, 2016, Laborers filed
a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 15), seeking dismissal of the
Complaint for failure to state a claim. On September 19,
2016, Brock filed a Motion to Vacate (Doc. 18), seeking to
have the GRS arbitration decision vacated. On September 30,
2016, Laborers filed a Motion to Dismiss the Motion to Vacate
(Doc. 26), seeking to have Brock's Motion to Vacate
dismissed on timeliness grounds, as well as being redundant
with Brock's Complaint. Lastly, on November 28, 2016,
Laborers filed a Motion to Enforce (Doc. 30), seeking to have
the GRS arbitration decision enforced.
March 27, 2017, the Court denied all four motions. (Doc. 37).
The claims presented by the parties appeared to involve a
disagreement over whether Brock's January 8, 2016
assignment of scaffolding work to Carpenters involved solely
a work jurisdiction dispute, or alternatively, two separate
disputes-one a work jurisdiction dispute and the other for
wrongful termination. (Doc. 37, p. 7). The Court noted that
if the grievance involved solely a work jurisdiction dispute,
then it was improper for the GRS to arbitrate the dispute
under Article VI of the NMA. (Doc. 37, p. 14). Conversely, if
the grievance involved both wrongful termination and
jurisdictional claims, then the GRS had authority to resolve
the dispute under Article VI.
Court found it was unable to make a determination regarding
which arbitration process applied, however, due to the
existence of disputed issues of material fact. (Doc. 37, p. 16).
Specifically, the Court identified a factual disagreement
between the parties as to whether Laborers were ever assigned
the scaffolding work. (Doc. 37, p. 16). If assigned to
perform the scaffolding and then terminated from that
assignment, the Court reasoned Laborers would have both a
wrongful termination and a separate jurisdictional dispute.
(Doc. 37, p. 16). If Laborers were not assigned the
scaffolding work in the first place, however, then
Brock's choice to assign the work to Carpenters would
only constitute a jurisdictional dispute outside the
authority of the GRS to arbitrate. (Doc. 37, p. 16). As a
result of the apparent disputed facts, the Court denied
Brock's Motion to Vacate and Laborers' Motion to
Enforce. (Doc. 37, p. 17).
April 24, 2017, Brock filed a Motion for Reconsideration
asking the Court to revisit its denial of Brock's Motion
to Vacate the arbitration decision. (Doc. 43, p. 1). On the
same day, Laborers filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc.
Motion for Reconsideration
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) allows a court to alter or
amend a judgment in order to correct manifest errors of law
or fact, to present newly discovered evidence, or where there
has been an intervening and substantial change in the
controlling law since the submission of the issues to the
district court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e); See also Bank of
Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185,
1191 (7th Cir. 1990) (quoting Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel
Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va.
1983)). Motions to reconsider under Rule 59(e) should only be
granted in rare circumstances. Id. The decision
whether to grant a Rule 59(e) Motion to Reconsider lies in
the sound discretion of the Court. Matter of Prince,
85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th Cir. 1996).
manifest error of law includes the “disregard,
misapplication, or failure to recognize controlling
precedent.” Oto v. Metropolitan Life Ins., 224
F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks
omitted). A manifest error is not demonstrated by the
disappointment of the losing party. Id.
alleges the Court committed a manifest error of law in three
ways: (1) by failing to follow William Charles
Construction Co., LLC v. Teamsters Local Union, 827 F.3d
672 (7th Cir. 2016), when denying the Motion to Vacate; (2)
by mischaracterizing the dispute as involving either a
lockout or wrongful termination; and (3) by coming to the
wrong conclusion because, even if a termination or lockout
occurred, a separate and distinct contractual procedure for
addressing lockouts existed in the contract, which should
have led the Court to the find the GRS did not have
jurisdiction to arbitrate. (Doc. 43, p.2).
William Charles v. Teamsters Local Union.
first argument for reconsideration is that the Court erred by
failing to “address or apply the principal and
controlling legal authority governing this matter, ”
which Brock identifies as being William Charles v.
Teamsters Local Union, 827 F.3d 672 (7th Cir. 2016).
(Doc. 43, p. 4). Failure to recognize controlling precedent
qualifies as a manifest error of law that is properly
addressed through a Rule 59 motion for reconsideration.
Oto, 24 F.3d at 606. In order to assess the
applicability of WilliamCh ...