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In re Arbitration Between New York Typographical Union No. 6

decided: June 16, 1989.

IN THE MATTER OF THE ARBITRATION BETWEEN NEW YORK TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION NO. 6, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, AND PRINTERS LEAGUE SECTION OF THE ASSOCIATION OF GRAPHIC ARTS, BAR PRESS INC., BORO PRINTING CO., BOWNE OF NEW YORK CITY, INC., DRECHSEL PRINTING CO., DYNAMIC METHODS INC., FRANCIS DREHER, INC., HARBOR PRESS, INC., HARDING & HEAL, INC., LIND BROTHERS, INC., LINOTYPE SERVICE, LITTLE ART GRAPHICS, MRS. GRAPHICS CORP., METRO TAG & LABEL CO., INC., PANDICK PRESS, INC., PRIMAR TYPOGRAPHERS, INC., PUBLICATION PRESS RCR, SKILLCRAFT OFFSET, INC., BENJAMIN H. TYRREL, AND CHAS P. YOUNG, CO., DEFENDANTS, BOWNE OF NEW YORK CITY, INC., AND PANDICK PRESS, INC., AND CHAS. P. YOUNG, CO., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS


Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Owen, J.), confirming an Arbitration Award dated May 21, 1988, issued pursuant to a collective bargaining contract. Affirmed.

Pratt and Miner, Circuit Judges and Motley,*fn* District Judge.

Author: Motley

MOTLEY, District Judge

Bowne of New York City, Inc. (BNY), Pandick Press, Inc. (Pandick), and Chas. P. Young Co. (CPY), appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Owen, J., confirming an arbitrator's award implementing Article 14, Section 7 of a collective bargaining contract, effective January 1, 1983 to October 3, 1989 (the "Contract"), between New York Typographical Union No. 6 (the "Union,") and the Printers League Section of the Association of Graphic Arts (the "League"), a trade association representing printing employers.

We agree with the District Court that the Arbitration Award granting the Union's request for relief was in keeping with the terms of the Contract as agreed to by the employers. The arbitrator's explanations set forth in his fully reasoned decision rejecting appellants' contentions as to the unfairness of the arbitration procedure was "far more than 'a barely colorable justification for the outcome reached.'" Advance Publications, Inc. v. Newspaper Guild of New York Local 3, TNG, AFL-CIO, 616 F.2d 614, 618 (2d Cir. 1980) (quoting Andros Compania Maritima, S.A. v. Marc Rich & Co., 579 F.2d 691, 704 (2d Cir. 1978)). Contrary to appellants' contention, appellants received notice, the arbitrator was not partial, and appellants are bound by the arbitrator's award. For reasons set forth below, we affirm the District Court's judgment confirming the Arbitration Award.

BACKGROUND

The Union, a collective bargaining representative of employees employed in composing room work in the New York City area, and the League, the collective bargaining representative of employers in the printing and typographical industry, have engaged in a series of collective bargaining agreements, the most current of which is the one effective January 1983-October 1989. The collective bargaining agreement specifically provides that in the event a member of the League resigns from League membership, such member shall remain bound by the terms of the Contract. Although they withdrew their membership in 1987, appellants BNY, Pandick, and CPY were members of the League when the current Contract was entered into. The Contract thus covers League employers, non-League employers, as well as employers who were never members but who nonetheless agreed to be bound by its terms.

Article 14 of the Contract, entitled "Settlement of Issues," establishes a procedure for dispute resolution. All disputes, controversies or grievances arising out of any provision in the Contract are to be settled by arbitration before a Designated Arbitrator or an Alternate Designated Arbitrator selected by mutual agreement between the League and the Union.

Sections 6 and 7 of Article 14 set forth the manner in which administrative expenses incurred during arbitration are to be handled. Administrative expenses contemplated under Section 6(A) are expenses incurred "in the form of fees and expenses in the selection of a Designated Arbitrator and in the form of the fees and expenses of the Designated Arbitrator." Under Section 6(B), these expenses are to be "shared equally" between the Union and the League. With regard to employers who are not League members, Section 7 provides that they are to pay seven dollars per employee per month into a special joint account, entitled the "Typographical Union No. 6 -- Printers League Joint Administrative Account," to be used to defray the Section 6(A) expenses for which the League and the Union would otherwise be liable.

However, because the Union and the non-League employers who engaged in arbitration effectively ignored payment provisions set forth in Section 7 and instead simply paid their half of the cost of arbitration, the joint account was never established. This practice occurred from 1983 until 1987, during which time appellants were League members.*fn1

In or about October 1987, BNY, no longer a League member, together with another non-League employer, became embroiled in lengthy arbitration proceedings with the Union. BNY refused to accede to the Union's demand that, in accordance with consistent past practice, it pays its pro-rata share in fees and expenses incurred during arbitration. BNY, instead, contended that Section 7 of Article 14 of the Contract established the exclusive means by which a non-League employer could be made responsible for arbitration-related payments, that is, its obligation as a non-League employer consisted solely of contributions into a joint account of deposits of seven dollars per employee per month. By letter dated November 19, 1987, BNY informed the Designated Arbitrator that, subject to acceptance of its proposal by both the League and the Union, arbitration-related fees and expenses incurred subsequent to its withdrawal from the League would be paid by it directly, so long as such expenses are capped by its own Section 7 share of costs.

Because of BNY's rejection of past practice and because of the League's refusal to pay for the cost of arbitrations which do not involve its members, the Designated Arbitrator suspended completion of arbitration hearings or commencement of additional hearings until such time as payment was received. By letter dated March 11, 1988, the Union, which had paid its shares of the fees, moved for arbitration before the Alternate Designated Arbitrator, Thomas Knowlton, to implement and enforce Section 7, as set forth in its collective bargaining agreement with the League. The Union also sent a copy of the March 11 letter to all non-League employers inviting them to attend the hearing.

The Arbitration Hearing

At the arbitration hearing, the Union sought an order requiring full payment to the fund from all non-League members, including BNY, Pandick and CPY. The Union also waived its entitlement to joint control of these monies, and proposed that the Section 7 fund be ...


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