988 F.Supp. 588 (CIT. 1997), 95-04-00482, Former Employees of Shaw Pipe, Inc. v. United States Secretary of Labor

Docket Nº:Court No. 95-04-00482.
Citation:988 F.Supp. 588
Party Name:FORMER EMPLOYEES OF SHAW PIPE, INC., Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF LABOR, Defendant. Slip Op. 97-161.
Case Date:December 02, 1997
Court:Court of International Trade
 
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Page 588

988 F.Supp. 588 (CIT. 1997)

FORMER EMPLOYEES OF SHAW PIPE, INC., Plaintiffs,

v.

UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF LABOR, Defendant.

Slip Op. 97-161.

Court No. 95-04-00482.

United States Court of International Trade.

Dec. 2, 1997

Page 589

Leibert L. Greenberg, New York, NY, for Plaintiffs.

Frank W. Hunger, Assistant Attorney General of the United States; David M. Cohen, Director, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice (Jeffrey M. Telep); Scott Glabman, Office of the Solicitor, United States Department of Labor, Of Counsel, for Defendant.

OPINION

CARMAN, Chief Judge.

This case is before the Court following remand to the United States Department of Labor ("Labor" or "Department") based on this Court's previously finding the Secretary's determination that plaintiffs were ineligible for certification to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits was not supported by substantial evidence on the record and was not otherwise in accordance with law. See Former Employees of Shaw Pipe, Inc. v. United States, 957 F.Supp. 239, 244 (CIT 1997) (" FEO Shaw Pipe ") (remanding matter to Labor with instructions to determine "whether plaintiffs 'create or manufacture a tangible commodity, or transform it into a new and different article' ") (citation omitted). Pursuant to this Court's order, Labor has filed a Supplemental Administrative Record providing further support for its determination that plaintiffs are not eligible for certification to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits. Plaintiffs assert the Supplemental Administrative Record does not contain substantial evidence supporting the Secretary's determination and move this Court to vacate Labor's determination and remand this matter once again to the Department for further consideration and redetermination.

Defendant asserts the Department of Labor's determination is supported by substantial evidence on the record and should be affirmed by this Court. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1581(d) (1994), and for the reasons set forth below grants defendant's Motion for Judgment Upon the Agency Record.

BACKGROUND

Shaw Pipe, Incorporated ("Shaw Pipe") closed its pipe coating operations in Highspire, Pennsylvania on August 12, 1994, resulting in a group of approximately thirty-five workers losing their jobs. On January 3, 1995, three former employees filed a petition with the Department of Labor on the behalf of all the separated employees seeking certification to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits. Plaintiffs characterize Shaw Pipe's Highspire, Pennsylvania facility as having produced "small diameter steel pipe coated with polyethylene coating" and "large diameter steel pipe coated with concrete coating." Admin. R. at 1. Plaintiffs' petition for certification to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits was denied and plaintiffs appealed the Secretary's determination to this Court.

On January 9, 1997, this Court found the Department of Labor's determination that plaintiffs were not eligible for certification to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits was not supported by substantial evidence on the record and was not otherwise in accordance with law, and remanded the matter to Labor for further consideration. See FEO Shaw Pipe, 957 F.Supp. at 244. In compliance with this Court's order, Labor filed a Supplemental Administrative Record providing further support for its determination with the Court on May 5, 1997.

Page 590

CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES

A. Plaintiffs

Plaintiffs raise two arguments in asserting the Department's determination should not be sustained by this Court. First, plaintiffs assert the Secretary's determination is not supported by substantial evidence on either the administrative record initially submitted to this Court or the Supplemental Administrative Record compiled pursuant to this Court's order remanding the matter to the Department of Labor.

Second, plaintiffs assert Labor's finding that plaintiffs' employment was terminated because Shaw Pipe lost its contract to coat pipe to another domestic competitor is not within the reason of the administrative record in this matter.

B. Defendant

Defendant contends the Supplemental Administrative Record filed pursuant to this Court's remand order provides substantial evidence supporting the Department's determination plaintiffs are ineligible for certification to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits because they do not satisfy either of the two requirements established by 19 U.S.C. § 2272(a)(3) (1994). See 19 U.S.C. § 2272(a)(3) (1994) (in order to certify a group as eligible to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits it must be determined "that increases of imports of articles like or directly competitive with articles produced by such workers' firm or an appropriate sub-division thereof contributed importantly to such total or partial separation, or threat thereof, and to such decline in sales or production").

First, defendant contends 19 U.S.C. § 2272(a)(3) requires applicants for certification to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits to have worked at a firm which "produce[s]" articles. The statutory language has been interpreted to require a determination that applicants must work at a firm that "create[s] or manufacture[s] a tangible commodity, or transform[s] it into a new and different article" to be eligible for certification. Nagy v. Donovan, 6 CIT 141, 145, 571 F.Supp. 1261, 1264 (1983) (interpreting eligibility requirements to receive trade adjustment assistance benefits established by 19 U.S.C. § 2272...

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