Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

IN RE BEHRING INTL.

April 27, 1978

In the Matter of the arbitration between BEHRING INTERNATIONAL, INC. and LOCAL 295 INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, CHAUFFEURS, WAREHOUSEMEN AND HELPERS OF AMERICA


The opinion of the court was delivered by: COSTANTINO

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

 COSTANTINO, District Judge.

 The petitioner, Behring International, Inc. ("Behring"), instituted this action to vacate an arbitration award rendered in favor of respondent, Local 295, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America ("Local 295") on two grounds: first, that the award exceeded the scope of the underlying collective bargaining agreement, and second, that certain members of the arbitration panel exhibited evident partiality during the arbitration which prevented a fair and impartial resolution of the contractual dispute. Local 295 cross moved to confirm the award and to have judgment entered thereon.

 In July 1976, Behring and Local 295 entered into a currently effective collective bargaining agreement ("Industry Agreement"). Pursuant to the Industry Agreement, all disputes arising between Local 295 and Behring are to be submitted to the Local 295 Joint Grievance Settlement Board (the "Board"). The authority of the Board is limited only by the condition that it "shall not . . . add to or subtract from [the] Agreement or render any decisions [which] conflict with . . . or . . . [modify] [the] Agreement in any way." Industry Agreement at § 22, para. 2(f).

 The Industry Agreement further provides for payment of weekly contributions by Behring to the Local 295 Employe Group Welfare, Severance and Pension Funds (the "Funds") on behalf of each employee performing bargaining unit work. Industry Agreement at §§ 12(A), 13(A). The Funds were established by separate Agreements and Declarations of Trust, the provisions of which are fully incorporated into the Industry Agreement.

 In March 1976, in order to determine whether full contributions were being paid as required by the Agreements, an auditor for the Funds requested to inspect a comprehensive set of payroll books and records for all Behring employees throughout the United States. However, data was provided only for those persons who Behring determined were performing work within the bargaining unit represented by Local 295.

 On February 24, 1977, the dispute was submitted to the Board. Both parties appeared by counsel and were given an opportunity to present evidence in order to justify their positions. At the conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrators announced that the grievance was unanimously upheld. A written award was subsequently rendered which specifically authorized a Local 295 auditor "to enter upon the premises of [Behring] to examine and copy such of the books . . . as may be necessary . .. to determine whether . . . full payment [is being made] . . . as required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the parties . . . ." Moscowitz Affidavit, Exhibit 10.

 Behring's first contention in support of the petition to vacate the award is that the arbitrators exceeded their authority under the Industry Agreement. Jurisdiction is grounded in the United States Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 10(d).

 The permissible scope of federal review of an arbitration award is extremely circumscribed where the powers of the arbitrators are challenged. Under the doctrine of United Steelworkers of America v. Enterprise Wheel and Car Corp., 363 U.S. 593, 80 S. Ct. 1358, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1424 (1960) (" Steelworkers "), an award is legitimate and enforceable whenever "it draws its essence from the collective bargaining agreement." Id. at 597, 80 S. Ct. at 1361. (emphasis added). Behring argues here that since the Industry Agreement protects only those employees in limited job classifications within the New York metropolitan area, the authorization to inspect payroll records of all personnel fails to satisfy even the minimal requirement of the "essence test" and must be vacated. The court does not agree.

 Sections 13(B) and 14(C) of the Industry Agreement specifically authorize the trust fund administrator to review the books and records of Behring which relate to defaults in the payment of trust contributions. Additionally, Section 14 of the Agreements and Declarations of Trust provides that:

 
[the] Trustees shall have the power to require any employer and an employer, when so required, shall furnish to the Trustees such information and reports as they may require in the performance of their duties under this Agreement and Declaration of Trust. The Trustees or any authorized agent or representative of the Trustees shall have the right, at all reasonable times during business hours, to enter upon the premises of employers to examine and copy such of the books, records, papers and reports of said employers as may be necessary to permit the Trustees to determine whether said employers are making full payment to the Trustees of the amounts required by the aforementioned Collective Bargaining Agreement. . . . (emphasis added)

 Thus, on its face, the arbitration award almost precisely tracks the operative language of the Trust Agreements, the provisions of which were expressly incorporated into the Industry Agreement. The arbitrators were within the permissible scope of their discretion in referring to an extrinsic document (The Agreements and Declarations of Trust) which was directly relevant to the dispute, Bell Aerospace Co. Div. of Textron, Inc. v. Local 516, 500 F.2d 921 (2d Cir. 1974).

 Further, the essence of the dispute concerned the extent of the trustees' inspection powers. The imprecise wording of the Agreements naturally gave rise to the development of the question, which might have been logically resolved in varying ways. However, as the Supreme Court stated in Steelworkers, supra, 363 U.S., at 599, 80 S. Ct., at 1362:

 
[the] question of interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement is a question for the arbitrator. It is the arbitrator's construction which was bargained for; and so far as the arbitrator's decision concerns construction of the contract, the courts have no business overruling ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.