United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
THE MONONGALIA COUNTY COAL COMPANY, Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant,
UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA, INTERNATIONAL UNION, and UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL UNION 1702, Defendants/Counter-Claimants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS'
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 12], GRANTING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 13], 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”), along with the
Defendants and Counter-Claimants, the United Mine Workers of
America, International Union, and the United Mine Workers of
America Local Union 1702 (together, the “Union”
or “Defendants”). For the reasons discussed
below, the Court denies Defendants' Motion and grants
September 11, 2018, Plaintiff brought this action against
Defendants, seeking to vacate an arbitration award. The
Honorable Irene M. Keeley, United States District Judge,
ordered the parties to submit a joint stipulated record,
cross motions for summary judgment, and response briefs.
Defendants filed an Answer and Counterclaim against
Plaintiff. The case was transferred to the Honorable Thomas
S. Kleeh, United States District Judge, on December 1, 2018.
The parties have filed their cross motions for summary
judgment, which are now ripe for consideration.
operates the Monongalia County Mine, an underground coal
mine, most of which is located in West Virginia. Defendants
represent Plaintiff's bargaining unit employees for
purposes of collective bargaining. The collective bargaining
agreement that governs this relationship is the 2016 National
Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement (“NBCWA”). The
NBCWA establishes work jurisdiction of union-represented
employees and provides restrictions on Plaintiff's
ability to contract out this work.
NBCWA provides the following regarding “Work
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 site 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. 11-1 at 10-11. The agreement distinguishes between
(1) Repair and Maintenance Work and (2) Construction Work.
The “Scope and Coverage” of Construction Work is
All construction of mine or mine related facilities including
the erection of mine tipples and sinking of mine shafts or
slopes customarily performed by classified Employees of the
Employer normally performing construction work in or about
the mine in accordance with prior practice and custom, shall
not be contracted out at any time unless all such Employees
with necessary skills to perform the work are working no less
than 5 days per week, or its equivalent for Employees working
on alternative schedules.
Provided further that where contracting out of such
construction work customarily performed by classified
Employees at the mine is permitted under this Agreement, such
contracting shall be in accordance with prior practice and
custom. Where contracting out is permitted under this
section, prior practice and custom shall not be construed to
limit the Employer's choice of contractors.
Id. at 13.
NBCWA also provides:
All decisions of the Arbitration Review Board rendered prior
to the expiration of the National Bituminous Coal Wage
Agreement of 1978 shall continue to have precedential effect
under this Agreement to the extent that the basis for such
decisions have not been modified by subsequent changes in
ECF No. 11-2 at 60.
dispute leading to this litigation involves work performed at
the Monongalia County Mine on February 25, 2018. ECF No. 1 at
¶ 8. On that day, Plaintiff hired contractors to install
supplemental roof support at the mine. Id. On
February 28, 2018, the Union filed a grievance (the
“Grievance”) on behalf of four (4) of its members
(the “Grievants”), alleging that Plaintiff
violated the NBCWA by hiring a contractor to perform
classified work. Id. The Grievants stated that
“[c]lassified men have allways [sic] done this