The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sifton, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
This ERISA claim is before the Court for decision following
a bench trial. Plaintiffs are trustees of the Local 807 Labor
Management Health Fund (the "Fund"). Defendant, Brink's, Inc.
("Brink's"), withdrew recognition from Local 807 upon
expiration of their last collective bargaining agreement.
Plaintiffs seek to compel defendant to make benefit
contributions to the Fund based on vacation and sick pay that
was allegedly earned before the expiration of the agreement but
received after its expiration.
The facts are essentially undisputed, except for a question
of contract interpretation. A collective bargaining agreement
between Brink's and Local 807 obligated Brink's to make
contributions to a multiemployer trust fund established by
Local 807 under Section 302 of the Labor-Management Relations
Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 186(g), and the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1002. A separate
Agreement and Declaration of Trust (the "Trust"), which governs
the operations of the Fund, provided that contributions shall
be made pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining
agreement. Article XXXIV of the agreement provides: "Except as
herein provided to the contrary, this Agreement shall be in
effect as of March 21, 1983, and shall terminate at midnight as
of March 18, 1984." On March 18, 1984, the agreement expired.
Brink's has not made any contributions to the Fund since that
In this present action, plaintiffs seek contributions to the
Fund based upon vacation and sick pay allegedly accrued under
the terms of the agreement but not paid before the agreement
expired. Article XXV(b) of the agreement defines the employer's
contribution obligation as follows:
"(b) Effective as of April 1, 1983, the EMPLOYER
shall contribute to the Local 807 Labor Management
Health Fund ("Health Fund") the amount of one
dollar and fourteen cents ($1.14) per straight
time hour for all hours paid to regular, full-time
and extra*fn1 employees subject to a maximum of
forty (40) hours per week, to provide the benefits
prescribed by the Trustees of the Health Fund."
It is undisputed that contributions were paid into the Fund
for all hours of vacation and sick time actually paid out to
the regular and extra employees (the "unit employees") during
the term of the agreement. Involved in this lawsuit are
contributions allegedly due with respect to payments which
would of necessity have been made for vacation time and sick
time after the agreement terminated because of the provisions
of the agreement relating to vacation and sick pay.
The terms of the agreement relevant to the issues raised by
this lawsuit include the following. Under the agreement,
vacation "credits" were calculated on the "basis of service
performed during the preceding calendar year." Article XXI(a).
Since all of the regular and extra unit employees had at least
ten years of service as of December 31, 1983, each was entitled
to four weeks paid vacation during calendar year 1984. Article
XXI(c). The agreement further provided that, in the event of
termination of an employee for any reason, "vacation pay for
service performed during the current year shall be prorated and
shall be paid at the time of termination, together with all
vacation pay earned for service during the entire preceding
calendar year which has not been previously taken or paid for."
With respect to sick pay, all regular and extra unit
employees were entitled to a maximum of five days of sick leave
per calendar year. Article XIX(a). If at the end of a calendar
year an employee had unused sick days, he had the choice of
either carrying over to the next calendar year a maximum of
five "earned but unused" sick days or cashing them in for
payment "at the prevailing rate of pay at the time when the
days were accrued." Article XXI(b).
Subsequent to the expiration of the agreement, Brink's issued
a new Fringe Benefit, Wage Rate and Working Conditions Plan
which contained a savings provisions for the unit employees'
1984 vacation and sick pay entitlements. Those employees
entitled to vacation or sick leave pay after March 18, 1984,
for work performed during the term of the agreement have been
paid by Brink's. However, no contributions to the Fund have
been made with respect to those payments. As of October 1,
1984, benefit eligibility and Health Fund coverage for the
regular and extra unit employees was terminated pursuant to the
Fund's rules and regulations. According to plaintiffs, the unit
employees received approximately $185,000 in benefits from the
Fund between March 19 and September 30, 1984. The unit
employees are now covered by a different plan selected by
This action was commenced by plaintiffs on October 31, 1986.
On September 14, 1987, this Court denied cross-motions for
summary judgment and directed the parties
to engage in additional discovery. Subsequent to such
discovery, the parties again cross-moved for summary judgment.
On November 23, 1988, this Court ruled that this matter could
not be properly disposed of within the confines of Fed.R.Civ.P.
56. However, pursuant to the Court's proposal, the parties have
stipulated to resolution of this matter on the record.
Accordingly, they have submitted appendices, including
deposition testimony and additional memoranda of law. On
October 23, 1989, the parties appeared for oral argument before
the Court on this matter. Subsequently, they stipulated that,
if this Court finds in favor of the plaintiffs, the total
amount of contributions due to the Fund is $33,565.25.
Defendant argues that this Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction to hear this case and that plaintiffs' cause of
action is preempted. This Court rejected these arguments on
prior motions and continues to find them without merit. What
follows sets forth the reasons for this determination.
Plaintiffs invoke this Court's jurisdiction under ERISA §
502(a)(3)(B)(ii), which provides:
"A civil action may be brought by a participant,
beneficiary, or fiduciary to obtain other
appropriate relief to enforce any provisions of