United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS'
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 11], GRANTING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 12], AND
VACATING ARBITRATION AWARD
S. KLEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are cross motions for summary judgment filed
by the Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant, The Monongalia County
Coal Company (“Plaintiff”), and the Defendants
and Counter-Claimants, the United Mine Workers of America,
International Union, and the United Mine Workers of America,
Local Union 1702 (“Defendants”). For the reasons
discussed below, the Court grants Plaintiff's motion and
denies Defendants' motion.
initiated this action under Section 301 of the Labor
Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, by filing a
Complaint to vacate an arbitration award. United States
District Judge Irene M. Keeley set a briefing schedule in
this matter and ordered the parties to file a joint
stipulated record, cross motions for summary judgment, and
response briefs. The parties have submitted all of the above,
and the cross motions for summary judgment are ripe for
consideration. This case was transferred to United States
District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh on December 1, 2018.
complaint and the pending motions for summary judgment stem
from a grievance filed by a bargaining unit employee at the
Monongalia County Mine in West Virginia. The terms and
conditions for bargaining unit employees at the Monongalia
County Mine are set forth in the 2016 National Bituminous
Coal Wage Agreement (“NBCWA” or the
“agreement”). The NBCWA provides the following
regarding “Work Jurisdiction”:
The production of coal, including removal of over-burden and
coal waste, preparation, processing and cleaning of coal and
transportation of coal (except by waterway or rail not owned
by Employer), repair and maintenance work normally performed
at the mine or at a central shop of the Employer and
maintenance of gob piles and mine roads, and work of the type
customarily related to all of the above shall be performed by
classified Employees of the Employer covered by and in
accordance with the terms of this Agreement. Contracting,
subcontracting, leasing and subleasing, and construction
work, as defined herein, will be conducted in accordance with
the provisions of this Article.
Nothing in this section will be construed to diminish the
jurisdiction, express or implied, of the United Mine Workers.
ECF No. 10-1 at 10-11.
agreement also distinguishes between (1) Repair and
Maintenance Work and (2) Construction Work. Id. at
12-13. Finally, the NBCWA provides the following regarding
resolution of disputes:
The United Mine Workers of America and the Employers agree
and affirm that, except as provided herein, they will
maintain the integrity of this contract and that all disputes
and claims which are settled by agreement shall be settled by
the machinery provided in the “Settlement of
Disputes” Article of this agreement . . ., it being the
purpose of this provision to provide for the settlement of
all such disputes and claims through the machinery in this
contract and by collective bargaining agreement without
recourse to the courts.
ECF No. 10-2 at 58. It further provides that
“[e]xpenses and fees incident to the service of an
arbitrator shall be paid equally by the Employer affected and
by the UMWA district affected” and does not comment
upon other costs potentially incurred by parties during
arbitration. Id. at 55.
through the grievant, Tim Gibson (the
“Grievant”), alleged that Plaintiff
“violated the terms of the NBCWA by having contractors
perform classified work, including, but not limited to,
unspooling, distributing and hanging hoses, cables and data
line on the monorail system in the Monongalia County Mine . .
. .” ECF No. 1 at ¶ 8. Defendants requested a
cease and desist order and 48 hours of double time paid to
the Grievant. Id.
Ralph H. Colflesh, Jr. (the “Arbitrator”) held a
hearing on April 27, 2018, and issued a decision on May 8,
2018. Id. ¶¶ 9-10. The Arbitrator found
that subcontracting took place and that the subcontracting
was prohibited by the NBCWA. ECF No. 1-1 at 12. He also found
that there was “no actual loss” suffered by the
Grievant. Id. at 8. Still, he wrote that he
“concur[s] with the principle . . . that in general
every sustained grievance must have some remedy.”
Id. at 15. He wrote that “the Union suffered a
loss because its ...