The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert P. Patterson, Jr., District Judge.
Plaintiffs Hygrade Operators, Inc., Bushey Towing Co., Inc.
and Tanker Ira S. Bushey, Inc. move for summary judgment
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 to vacate, and defendant Local 333,
United Marine Division, I.L.A., AFL-CIO (the "Union") cross
moves to affirm, an Arbitral Award ("A.A.") dated December 28,
1989, finding plaintiffs had violated the no-lockout provision
of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (the "Agreement") and
awarding the defendant $50,000 in damages.
At issue is whether the amount of the award has sufficient
basis in fact and whether the arbitrator's determination has
been explained "in terms that offer even a barely colorable
justification for the outcome reached." Andros Compania
Maritima S.A. v. Marc Rich & Co., 579 F.2d 691, 704 (2d Cir.
1978). See also, New York Typographical Union No. 6 v. Printers
League Section of the Ass'n of Graphic Arts, 878 F.2d 56, 60
(2d Cir. 1989).
The arbitral proceeding evolved in the following factual
Plaintiffs, who operate collectively under the name
Spentonbush/Red Star Companies ("Spentonbush"), are engaged in
the business of transporting oil by tug boat and barge. The
Union represents Spentonbush's employees, as well as those of
other companies in the industry. The Agreement binding
Spentonbush and the Union was due to expire at midnight on the
Lincoln's Birthday holiday, February 15, 1988. As the
expiration date neared, the parties remained far apart in their
negotiations which had begun in January 1988 for a new
agreement, and a strike was expected by both sides at the
Agreement's expiration. The strike vote was scheduled for the
afternoon of February 15, 1988.
The Union claimed the tying up of vessels and layoff of
employees constituted a lockout in violation of Article 1,
Section 9 of the Agreement and the parties submitted the issue
to arbitration in the following language: "Did the Employer
violate Article 1, Section 9 of the Collective Bargaining
Agreement by locking out the employees prior to the expiration
of the Collective Bargaining Agreement? If so, what shall be
Article 1, Section 9 reads as follows:
The Employers agree that during the life of this
Agreement, or during any period of negotiations
for a new agreement, or for the modification or
renewal of this Agreement, there shall be no
lockout of the Employees and, upon violation of
this provision by the Employers, this Agreement
may be terminated by the Union. However, the
prohibition against lockouts contained herein
shall not be construed to prevent the Employers
or any one of them from laying up any vessels,
or discontinuing their operation and laying off
their crews (Employees), in whole or in part, at
any time when for business reasons the Employers
deem it advisable to do so.
Arbitration hearings were held on September 7 and 28, 1989.
Post-hearing briefs were submitted on November 13, 1989. The
arbitrator rendered an Opinion and Award on December 28, 1989
finding Spentonbush did violate the no-lockout provision of
Article 1, Section 9, of the Agreement and ordering Spentonbush
to pay the Union $50,000.
Spentonbush seeks to have this Court vacate the arbitral
award on the grounds that (1) the arbitrator's determination
that a lockout occurred is irrational and (2) there was no
evidence of damages presented to support his award of $50,000
to the Union. The Union responds that the arbitral
determinations in the award are explained in terms that offer
more than the requisite "barely colorable justification" as
stated in New ...