876 F.2d 1288 (7th Cir. 1989), 88-2093, Local 1545, United Mine Workers of America v. Inland Steel Coal Co.

Docket Nº88-2093.
Citation876 F.2d 1288
Party NameLOCAL 1545, UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. INLAND STEEL COAL COMPANY, a Delaware Corporation, and Consolidation Coal Company, a Delaware Corporation, Defendants-Appellees.
Case DateJune 05, 1989
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 1288

876 F.2d 1288 (7th Cir. 1989)

LOCAL 1545, UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

INLAND STEEL COAL COMPANY, a Delaware Corporation, and

Consolidation Coal Company, a Delaware

Corporation, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 88-2093.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 5, 1989

Argued Jan. 18, 1989.

Page 1289

Stephen Yokich, Cornfield & Feldman, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellant.

Paul J. Schroeder, Bryan, Cave, McPheeters & McRoberts, St. Louis, Mo., for defendants-appellees.

Before WOOD, Jr., and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges, and ESCHBACH, Senior Circuit Judge.

ESCHBACH, Senior Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-Appellant Local 1545, United Mine Workers of America ("union") filed this action in federal district court pursuant to Sec. 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 185, seeking to enforce two labor arbitration awards between it and defendants-appellees Consolidation Coal Company ("Consolidation") and Inland Steel Coal Company ("Inland Steel"). The district court denied plaintiff's motion for summary judgment but granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. In granting the defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court held that the issue of whether the court should give prospective effect to prior arbitration

Page 1290

awards was dispositive of the lawsuit. Concluding that it could not state "with positive assurance" that the awards were intended to apply prospectively, the court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment.

From the denial of its motion and the court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants, the union now appeals. We will address the following two issues: (1) Whether the court erred in refusing to specifically enforce the arbitration awards between the union and the defendants and (2) whether the court erred in granting defendants' motion for summary judgment because there are genuine issues of material fact. For the reasons set out below, we affirm the denial of the union's motion for summary judgment and the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

I.

The union, Inland Steel, and Consolidation have been and are parties to the National Bituminous Wage Agreements ("Agreement(s)") of 1974, 1978, 1981, and 1984. The union, a voluntary unincorporated labor organization, is the authorized collective bargaining representative for certain classified employees at what is now known as Consolidation's Rend Lake Mine in Sesser, Illinois. The Agreements establish the wages, hours, terms, and conditions of employment for Consolidation's employees at the mine who are represented by the union. The Agreements also contain a mandatory grievance arbitration clause providing for the final and binding resolution of disputes as defined in the Agreement. 1

On May 12, 1977, the union filed a grievance contending that Inland Steel violated the 1974 Agreement on April 25, 1977, when it sent B shift workers home early although the plant was running and "dead work" 2 was available. The union argued that Inland Steel violated prior practice and custom at the mine and thereby violated Article XXVI(b) of the Agreement. Article XXVI(b) of the Agreement provides, "[e]xcept where abolished by mutual agreement of the parties, all prior practice and custom not in conflict with this Agreement shall be continued...." Plaintiff's Complaint, Rec. 1, Exhibit B (Inland Steel's Post-Hearing Brief at 2).

In a decision and award issued September 2, 1978, Arbitrator Gibson concluded that Inland Steel violated the established practice contrary to Article XXVI(b) of the 1974 Agreement by sending the miners home early. He specifically concluded that the evidence showed that "the Employer has always kept the miners working, whether mining coal or not, for the balance of the shift if the processing plant was in operation." Plaintiff's Complaint, Rec. 1, Exhibit B (Arbitrator Gibson's Decision at 7). Therefore, the arbitrator ordered the company to pay 3 1/2 straight time hours to all B shift miners who were sent home early.

Subsequently, the union filed another grievance when B turn employees were denied the right to work on February 11, 1982, because the silos were full and there had been a railroad derailment although "dead work" was available. In its grievance, the union stated, "[F]or the failure of Management to comply with the Arbitrators award [sic] in case 12-77-360 the Union requests a Cease and Desist order be issued for Managements failure [sic] to have the underground Employees at work." Plaintiff's Complaint, Rec. 1, Exhibit B (Arbitrator Sabella's Decision at 2). The union also alleged that the company was in violation of the established past

Page 1291

practice provision in the 1981 Wage Agreement.

In his decision and award issued July 19, 1982, Arbitrator Sabella sustained the union's grievance. Specifically relying on Arbitrator Gibson's decision in the 1978 dispute, Sabella concluded "[i]n the light of the foregoing I am constrained to find that the practice and custom found by Arbitrator Gibson is valid and subsisting and accordingly binding on the parties." Id. at 5. Sabella then awarded the workers four hours pay at the straight time rate, but did not grant a cease and desist order.

On November 15, 1986, Consolidation purchased the Rend Lake Mine from Inland Steel. According to Article I of the 1984 Agreement and the Stock Purchase Agreement between Consolidation and Inland Steel, Consolidation agreed to assume all of Inland Steel's obligations under the labor agreement. 3 On January 16, 1987, the instant dispute arose between the union and Consolidation when the company allegedly sent underground employees home mid-shift although "dead work" was available and the coal processing plant was operating.

Subsequently, on February 9, 1987, the union filed a complaint in federal district court against defendants Inland Steel and Consolidation seeking specific enforcement of the Gibson and Sabella awards. The union does not allege that Inland Steel failed to comply with the terms of the Gibson and Sabella awards. The union never disputes the fact that the defendants paid the workers their appropriate back pay as provided for in the awards. Rather, the complaint is that there is a failure to comply with the awards in this subsequent dispute.

On April 28, 1987, the court set a briefing schedule on cross-motions for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed its motion for summary judgment against defendants on December 15, 1987, and defendants filed their cross-motion for summary judgment on January 28, 1988. The district court, on April 18, 1988, held oral argument on these motions. At argument, plaintiff was granted leave to file affidavits in support of its action to enforce the awards, which were filed with the court on May 5, 1988. On May 10, 1988, the court entered its judgment denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and granting defendants' cross-motion. 4 In granting defendants'

Page 1292

cross-motion for summary judgment, the court concluded that there were no genuine issues of material fact because the legal issue of whether the awards were intended to apply prospectively was dispositive of the action. The court further held that the defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law because the court could not "say with positive assurance that the awards were intended to cover the present dispute...." District Court's Order, Rec. 34, at 5. The court stated that it did not believe the awards were intended to apply prospectively because they were entered before the 1984 Agreement went into effect and because the awards did not address their prospective application.

The union appeals from the denial of its motion for summary judgment and the court's granting of the defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment. We address the following two issues on appeal. First, the union argues that the court erred in denying its motion for summary judgment because it was entitled to have the Gibson and Sabella awards enforced against Consolidation as successor to Inland Steel. Second, the union asserts that the court erred in granting defendants' motion for summary judgment because there is a genuine issue of material fact on the degree of factual identity between the instant dispute and those remedied by the Gibson and Sabella awards. We affirm.

II.

A court should grant a party's motion for summary judgment if the record shows 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). The moving party has the burden of establishing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Yorger v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 733 F.2d 1215, 1218 (7th Cir.1984); Egger v. Phillips, 710 F.2d 292, 296 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 918, 104 S.Ct. 284, 78 L.Ed.2d 262 (1983). In determining whether any material fact is in dispute, we review the record and all inferences drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. See United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655, 82 S.Ct. 993, 994, 8 L.Ed.2d 176 (1962) (per curiam). We will consider, however, only inferences that are reasonably drawn.

Page 1293

Korf v. Ball State Univ., 726 F.2d 1222, 1226 (7th Cir.1984). If the movant meets his initial burden, the opposing party must set forth specific facts to show that there is a genuine issue for trial. See Egger, 710 F.2d at 296. Faced with this burden, the opposing party cannot rely solely on mere allegations or denials of his pleadings. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Posey v. Skyline Corp., 702 F.2d 102, 105 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 960, 104 S.Ct. 392, 78 L.Ed.2d 336 (1983).

Furthermore, the mere presence of a...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP
41 practice notes
  • 809 F.Supp. 799 (D.Colo. 1992), Civ. A. 92-K-148, Bonser v. Safeway, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 10th Circuit District of Colorado
    • 18 December 1992
    ...to enforce a settlement agreement under the Act, see generally Local 1545, Page 804 United Mine Workers of Am. v. Inland Steel Coal Co., 876 F.2d 1288, 1293-94 (7th Cir. 1989); District 12, United Mine Workers v. Peabody Coal Co., 602 F.Supp. 240, 242 (S.D.Ill.1985), most require "posi......
  • American Postal Workers Union v. United States Postal Service, 080409 MIEDC, 09-10856
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Eastern District of Michigan
    • 4 August 2009
    ...in Inland Steel , the union requested a cease and desist order during arbitration, and the arbitrator did not grant it. Inland Steel, 876 F.2d 1288 at The Cannavo Award, however, does contain a cease and desist order. This cease and desist order indicates that the Cannavo Award was intended......
  • 177 B.R. 606 (E.D.Wis. 1995), 93-C-983, In re Jones Truck Lines, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • 2 February 1995
    ...at 2510. See also Clifton v. Schafer, 969 F.2d 278, 281 (7th Cir.1992); Local 1545, United Mine Workers of Am. v. Inland Steel Coal Co., 876 F.2d 1288, 1293 (7th Cir.1989). The presence of a genuine issue of material fact is to be determined by the substantive law controlling that case or i......
  • Agreements to expand the scope of judicial review of arbitration awards.
    • United States
    • Albany Law Review Vol. 63 Nbr. 1, September 1999
    • 22 September 1999
    ...Cir. 1990) (discussing the terms "final" and "binding"); Local 1545, United Mine Workers v. Inland Steel Coal Co., 876 F.2d 1288, 1290 (7th Cir. 1989) (noting the agreement "shall be final and binding on both parties"). (79) See Consumer Concepts, Inc. v. Mego ......
  • Free signup to view additional results
40 cases
  • 809 F.Supp. 799 (D.Colo. 1992), Civ. A. 92-K-148, Bonser v. Safeway, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 10th Circuit District of Colorado
    • 18 December 1992
    ...to enforce a settlement agreement under the Act, see generally Local 1545, Page 804 United Mine Workers of Am. v. Inland Steel Coal Co., 876 F.2d 1288, 1293-94 (7th Cir. 1989); District 12, United Mine Workers v. Peabody Coal Co., 602 F.Supp. 240, 242 (S.D.Ill.1985), most require "posi......
  • American Postal Workers Union v. United States Postal Service, 080409 MIEDC, 09-10856
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Eastern District of Michigan
    • 4 August 2009
    ...in Inland Steel , the union requested a cease and desist order during arbitration, and the arbitrator did not grant it. Inland Steel, 876 F.2d 1288 at The Cannavo Award, however, does contain a cease and desist order. This cease and desist order indicates that the Cannavo Award was intended......
  • 177 B.R. 606 (E.D.Wis. 1995), 93-C-983, In re Jones Truck Lines, Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 7th Circuit Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • 2 February 1995
    ...at 2510. See also Clifton v. Schafer, 969 F.2d 278, 281 (7th Cir.1992); Local 1545, United Mine Workers of Am. v. Inland Steel Coal Co., 876 F.2d 1288, 1293 (7th Cir.1989). The presence of a genuine issue of material fact is to be determined by the substantive law controlling that case or i......
  • 15 F.3d 726 (7th Cir. 1994), 93-1476, American Federation of Grain Millers, Local 24 v. Cargill Inc.
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • 4 February 1994
    ...not restart or toll the allowable time period for a timely appeal. Local 1545, United Mine Workers of America v. Inland Steel Coal Co., 876 F.2d 1288, 1291-92 n. 4 (7th Cir.1989). Plaintiff maintains, however, that its January 12, 1993 motion was based on Rule 60(b). In support of this argu......
  • Free signup to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Agreements to expand the scope of judicial review of arbitration awards.
    • United States
    • Albany Law Review Vol. 63 Nbr. 1, September 1999
    • 22 September 1999
    ...Cir. 1990) (discussing the terms "final" and "binding"); Local 1545, United Mine Workers v. Inland Steel Coal Co., 876 F.2d 1288, 1290 (7th Cir. 1989) (noting the agreement "shall be final and binding on both parties"). (79) See Consumer Concepts, Inc. v. Mego ......