Laborers' Intern. Union of North America, AFL-CIO v. Foster Wheeler Corp., AFL-CIO

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore GIBBONS; PER CURIAM
Citation868 F.2d 573
Docket NumberAFL-CIO,Nos. 88-5554,88-5570 and 88-5571
Decision Date16 December 1988
Parties130 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2740, 111 Lab.Cas. P 10,970 LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA,Appellant/Cross Appellee, v. FOSTER WHEELER CORPORATION, and Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, Appellees/Cross Appellants. . Submitted Under Third Circuit Rule 12(6)

Page 573

868 F.2d 573
130 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2740, 111 Lab.Cas. P 10,970
LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, AFL-CIO
Appellant/Cross Appellee,
v.
FOSTER WHEELER CORPORATION, and Foster Wheeler Energy
Corporation, Appellees/Cross Appellants.
Nos. 88-5554, 88-5570 and 88-5571.
United States Court of Appeals,
Third Circuit.
Submitted Under Third Circuit Rule 12(6)
Dec. 16, 1988.
Decided Feb. 22, 1989.
Rehearing Denied March 21, 1989.

Orrin Baird, David Elbaor, Connerton, Ray & Simon, Washington, D.C., for Laborers' Intern. Union of North America, AFL-CIO.

Albert B. Jeffers, Morristown, N.J., and Perry M. Rosen, Stuart Rothman, Rogers & Wells, Washington, D.C., for Foster Wheeler Energy Corp.

Vincent J. Apruzzese, Francis A. Mastro, Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro & Murphy, Springfield, N.J., for Foster Wheeler Corp.

Before GIBBONS, Chief Judge, and HUTCHINSON and HUNTER *, Circuit Judges.

Page 574

OPINION OF THE COURT

PER CURIAM:

1. This case addresses the propriety of a district court's delegation to an arbitrator of the decision whether a nonsignatory corporation was bound by its subsidiary's national labor agreement. Plaintiff-appellant, cross-appellee Laborers' International Union of North America (the "Union") appeals from a judgment entered in the district of New Jersey holding that on June 6, 1985, defendant-appellee, cross-appellants Foster Wheeler Corp. ("FWC") and Foster Wheeler Energy Corp. ("FWEC") unilaterally repudiated a collective bargaining agreement with the Union (the "National Agreement"). The Union contends that the district court erred because FWC and FWEC could not repudiate a collective bargaining agreement unilaterally, and even if they could, did not do so until August 9, 1985.

2. FWC and FWEC, the defendants in the district court, cross-appeal. FWC contends that the district court erred in compelling arbitration because FWC was not a party to the contract at issue. FWEC contends that the district court erred because unilateral repudiation occurred considerably before June 6, 1985.

I. FACTS

3. FWC is an international holding company consisting of various subsidiaries involved in construction. The Union is the bargaining agent for laborers employed by one of FWC's subsidiaries, FWEC. The Union and FWEC are parties to the National Agreement whereby FWEC agreed that most of its work, and the work of FWEC's subsidiaries, would be performed pursuant to the National Agreement. The Union, in return, guaranteed that the work would be performed pursuant to the National Agreement regardless of locale. The National Agreement included a grievance procedure covering "any dispute over the application or interpretation of this Agreement." The National Agreement expires annually on July 15 of each year and is automatically renewed unless specifically terminated or amended by the parties. FWC was not a signatory to the National Agreement.

4. In 1979, FWC formed another wholly-owned subsidiary, Energy Plant Constructors, Inc. ("EPC"), to operate as a construction contractor on a nonunion basis. FWC is thus a "double-breasted" contractor--FWEC is its unionized subsidiary and EPC is its nonunionized subsidiary. EPC is not a party to this case.

5. In the fall 1984, EPC won a contract from the Mobil Oil Exploration and Production Southeast, Inc. ("MOEPSI"), to construct a natural gas processing plant near Mobile, Alabama. EPC hired its first field construction employee at the MOEPSI site on April 2, 1985, but did not apply FWEC's National Agreement with the Union at the MOEPSI site. The Union, FWC, and FWEC corresponded back and forth about this situation in the spring of 1985. On June 3, 1985, the president of EPC wrote to the Union and said that EPC "is not and never has been party to any collective bargaining agreement" with the Union. The Union received the letter on June 6, 1985. The Union responded by suggesting arbitration as to the applicability of the National Agreement, but FWEC refused. On July 11, 1985, FWEC informed the Union that FWEC had no control over EPC. On August 9, 1985, FWEC notified the Union that it was repudiating the National Agreement to the extent that the National Agreement was allegedly applicable to the MOEPSI project.

6. On August 29, 1985, the Union filed this action under the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 185(a), and ch.11, Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Procedure, 29 U.S.C.A. Sec. 401 et seq., seeking an order compelling FWC and FWEC to arbitrate. The Union also asked for damages in its representative capacity.

7. FWC moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that FWC was not a party to FWEC's National Agreement with the Union and, in any event, that FWC had repudiated the National Agreement. FWEC moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the question presented went to representation and thus was for the National Labor Relations Board. The Union cross-moved for summary judgment.

Page 575

8. On December 9, 1985, the district court held that FWC was bound to arbitrate because the Union had presented sufficient facts which, if proven, would demonstrate an alter ego relationship between EPC and FWC. The district court reserved judgment until after the arbitration on whether the National Agreement had ever been lawfully repudiated. In addition, the district court, over the objections of FWC and FWEC, granted the Union limited discovery on the issue referred to arbitration.

9. FWC and FWEC moved for reconsideration which the district court denied. FWC and FWEC then took an interlocutory appeal to this court which we dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction. Laborers' Int'l Union of N. Am. v. Foster Wheeler Corp., Nos. 86-5079, 80 (3d Cir. May 1, 1986).

10. On November 10, 1986, an arbitrator held that FWC and FWEC had violated the National Agreement. The arbitrator stated first that FWC and FWEC were alter egos and consequently that FWC was bound by FWEC's National Agreement with the Union. Second, he held that FWEC was the true contractor at the MOEPSI site and that EPC was nothing more than a subcontractor. Third, the arbitrator characterized FWEC...

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31 practice notes
  • Laborers' Intern. Union of North America, AFL-CIO v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., AFL-CI
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • May 20, 1994
    ...to participate in arbitration of a contract to which a subsidiary is formally a party." Laborers' Int'l Union v. Foster Wheeler Corp., 868 F.2d 573, 576-77 (3d Cir.1989) (per curiam). Accordingly, we remanded for the district court to determine whether the two corporations were alter egos. ......
  • Labib v. Younan, Civ. A. No. 90-3682(MHC).
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Jersey
    • January 23, 1991
    ...Workers of America, 475 U.S. 643, 648-49, 106 S.Ct. 1415, 1418-19, 89 L.Ed.2d 648 (1986); Laborers' Intern. Union v. Foster Wheeler Corp., 868 F.2d 573, 576 (3d Cir.1989); Laborers' Local Union v. Interstate Curb and Sidewalk, 90 N.J. 456, 463, 448 A.2d 980 (1982); Aysseh v. Lawn, 180 N.J.S......
  • Urs Corp. v. Lebanese Co. for Development, Civ. No. 06-415-SLR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Delaware)
    • September 28, 2007
    ...Cir.2000) (affirming district court's denial of motion to compel); Laborers' International Union of North America v. Foster Wheeler Corp., 868 F.2d 573, 574 (3d Cir. 1989) (addressing whether district court erred in compelling arbitration before making a determination that the corporate vei......
  • Laborers Intern. Union v. HSA Contractors, Inc., No. 89-C-587.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • December 22, 1989
    ...the district court rather than the arbitrator. See Laborers' International Union of North America, AFL-CIO v. Foster Wheeler Corporation, 868 F.2d 573, 577 (3d Cir.1989). Thus, the question of whether the International Union must participate in the arbitration of the underlying grievance wi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
31 cases
  • Laborers' Intern. Union of North America, AFL-CIO v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., AFL-CI
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • May 20, 1994
    ...to participate in arbitration of a contract to which a subsidiary is formally a party." Laborers' Int'l Union v. Foster Wheeler Corp., 868 F.2d 573, 576-77 (3d Cir.1989) (per curiam). Accordingly, we remanded for the district court to determine whether the two corporations were alter egos. ......
  • P&A Constr. Inc. v. Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs Local 825, No. 20-1634
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • November 18, 2021
    ...Union No. 59 v. Namco Elec., Inc. , 653 F.2d 143, 147 (5th Cir. 1981). In Laborers' Int'l Union of North Am. v. Foster Wheeler Corp. , 868 F.2d 573 (3d Cir. 1989) (per curiam), we held that an "alter ego" theory could allow a union to compel arbitration with both its employer and its employ......
  • Labib v. Younan, Civ. A. No. 90-3682(MHC).
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Jersey
    • January 23, 1991
    ...Workers of America, 475 U.S. 643, 648-49, 106 S.Ct. 1415, 1418-19, 89 L.Ed.2d 648 (1986); Laborers' Intern. Union v. Foster Wheeler Corp., 868 F.2d 573, 576 (3d Cir.1989); Laborers' Local Union v. Interstate Curb and Sidewalk, 90 N.J. 456, 463, 448 A.2d 980 (1982); Aysseh v. Lawn, 180 N.J.S......
  • Urs Corp. v. Lebanese Co. for Development, Civ. No. 06-415-SLR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Delaware)
    • September 28, 2007
    ...Cir.2000) (affirming district court's denial of motion to compel); Laborers' International Union of North America v. Foster Wheeler Corp., 868 F.2d 573, 574 (3d Cir. 1989) (addressing whether district court erred in compelling arbitration before making a determination that the corporate vei......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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