459 F.2d 968 (3rd Cir. 1972), 71-1392, Avco Corp. v. Local Union No. 787 of Intern. Union, United Auto., Aerospace and Agr. Implement Workers of America (UAW)

Docket Nº:71-1392, 71-1393.
Citation:459 F.2d 968
Party Name:AVCO CORPORATION, Appellant, v. LOCAL UNION #787 OF the INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW). AVCO CORPORATION, Appellant, v. INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW).
Case Date:May 05, 1972
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 968

459 F.2d 968 (3rd Cir. 1972)

AVCO CORPORATION, Appellant,

v.

LOCAL UNION #787 OF the INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW).

AVCO CORPORATION, Appellant,

v.

INTERNATIONAL UNION, UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA (UAW).

Nos. 71-1392, 71-1393.

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

May 5, 1972

Argued March 20, 1972.

Page 969

Don A. Banta, Naphin, Banta & Cox, Chicago, Ill., for appellant.

Sidney A. Simon, Williamsport, Pa., for appellee.

Before ADAMS, GIBBONS and HUNTER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

ADAMS, Circuit Judge.

The pivotal question presented by this case is whether a district court may decline to issue a "Boys Markets" 1 injunction solely because the compulsory arbitration feature of a "no-strike" collective bargaining agreement is "employee oriented." 2

The relevant facts underlying the controversy are not in dispute. On May 4, 1967, Avco Corporation (Avco) and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America and its Local No. 787 (jointly referred to as the Union) entered into a collective bargaining agreement which contained, inter alia, a "no-strike" clause 3 and a broad compulsory

Page 970

arbitration clause. 4 In essence, the compulsory arbitration clause provides (1) that a grievance is "defined as any alleged violation of the terms of this Agreement or differences of opinion as to its interpretation or application," (2) that "any individual employee or group of employees shall have the right to present grievances to the Company at any time", (3) that in the event grievances are unresolved by resort to the mechanisms set forth in the agreement, the Union may refer the matter to the American Arbitration Association, and (4) that "[t]he decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding upon the parties." Although the collective bargaining agreement regulated hours and wages, including overtime, it was silent whether Avco could require that employees work overtime, as defined therein.

The Avco plant in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, at the times in question, employed approximately 900 employees in the manufacture of aircraft engines. An additional 1500 employees had been laid off because of adverse economic conditions in the aerospace industry. Despite the lay-offs the nature of the products manufactured in Williamsport was such that in order to maintain proper production flow, overtime work was often required.

On April 2nd and 3rd, 1970, three employees refused requests to work overtime, and in due course, were disciplined by Avco. When internal grievance procedures failed to resolve the issue whether such discipline was proper, the matter was referred to arbitration. The arbitrator declined to sustain the discipline applied to these individual employees "in principal part, because the company has condoned such refusals in the past." This decision was reached "reluctantly" by the arbitrator because of the "possibility that the Union may be encouraged to adopt a hard attitude that will preclude a solution to the problem."

On February 21, 1971, the Union passed a resolution to the effect that the members would refuse overtime work until such time as the laid-off employees were rehired. 5 Avco was notified of the resolution, and when the employees refused to accept further overtime, Avco sought an injunction in the state courts. The cause was removed by the Union to the district court, which, after a hearing, denied the injunctive relief on the ground that compulsory arbitration clause was "employee-oriented".

I

The first issue to be resolved is whether the district court erred in refusing to grant the injunction solely because the compulsory arbitration clause of the collective bargaining agreement was "employee-oriented". To decide this question, it is necessary to analyze Boys Markets and the cases leading up to it to determine whether such a criterion emerges from the reconciliation of federal labor policies.

Section 4 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C. § 104 (1970), barred the federal courts from issuing anti-strike injunctions, and thereby established the federal policy of non-interference in such matters. That statute was a response to federal courts which used the mechanism of the anti-strike injunction to undermine union organizational and bargaining efforts. 6 However, an equally strong policy to encourage the settlement of labor disputes through enforcement of compulsory arbitration agreements evolved in the 1950's and coexisted with the anti-strike injunction

Page 971

prohibition. 7 In 1962, the Supreme Court undertook the resolution of the conflict created by these policies, but instead of reconciling them, the Court decided the question by adopting a literal reading of Section 4. Sinclair Refining Co. v. Atkinson, 370 U.S. 195, 82 S.Ct. 1328, 8 L.Ed.2d 440 (1962). The effect of Sinclair was to hold that the earlier enacted Section 4 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act constituted an exception to Section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185 (1970), which vested jurisdiction in the district courts to entertain suits "for violation of contracts between an employer and a labor organization."

The Sinclair decision spawned a whole new set of conflicts between other policies. Prior to Sinclair, the Supreme Court had held that the purpose of Section 301 was to supplement the existing state jurisdictions over labor contract matters, and thus expand the number of available forums. Charles Dowd Box Co. v. Courtney, 368 U.S. 502, 82 S.Ct. 519, 7 L.Ed.2d 483 (1962). The Court also announced a need for uniformity among state and federal courts with respect to the enforcement of labor contracts. Local 174, Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America v. Lucas Flour Co., 369 U.S. 95, 82 S.Ct. 571, 7 L.Ed.2d 593 (1962). Thus, if the holding of Sinclair were limited to federal courts, uniformity would be destroyed, whereas if Sinclair were were...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP