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COAST TO COAST INSTALLATIONS v. IRON WORKERS LOCALS 40

April 27, 2004.

In the Matter of the Application of COAST TO COAST INSTALLATIONS, INC., Plaintiff, -against- IRON WORKERS LOCALS 40, 361 & 417 UNION SECURITY FUNDS and IRON WORKERS LOCAL 417, Defendants


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT SWEET, Senior District Judge

OPINION

The respondents Iron Workers Locals 40, 361 and 417 Union Security Funds (the "Funds") and Iron Workers Local 417 (the "Union") (collectively, the "Respondents") have moved under Rule 56, Fed.R. Civ. P., to dismiss the petition of petitioner Coast to Coast Installations, Inc. ("Coast to Coast") to stay an arbitration. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.

Prior Proceedings

  The Funds and the Union requested arbitration on January 16, 2003, relying upon a collective bargaining agreement signed on January 10, 2001 by Michael Kares, the president of Coast to Coast ("Kares"). By order to show cause of February 11, 2003, issued in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, Coast to Coast obtained a stay of the arbitration.

  On February 20, 2003, the Funds and the Union removed the petition to stay to this Court. Discovery proceedings were undertaken, the deposition of Gary Gaydos, a business manager and financial secretary-treasurer of the Union, was noticed by Coast to Coast on November 5, 2003, and adjourned, and the instant motion was marked fully argued and submitted on January 30, 2004. The Facts

  The following facts are gleaned from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 Statements and submissions and are undisputed except as noted below.

  Coast to Coast is a New York corporation and has its principal place of business at 250 Moonachie Road, Moonachie, New Jersey.

  Kares is the owner and president of Coast to Coast. Coast to Coast is a non-union employer that installs conveyors and racking systems.

  The Funds, located at 451 Park Avenue South, New York, New York, are a group of Taft-Hartley employee benefit funds governed by trust agreements and operating under the laws of the United States, including, without limitation, the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA") and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA").

  The Union is a labor organization representing workers governed by, inter alia, the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), LMRA and ERISA. In August 2000, a Project Labor Agreement ("PLA") was entered into between The Gap, Inc. ("The Gap") as owner, Clayco. Construction Company, Inc. ("Clayco") as contractor, and unions affiliated with the Dutchess County Building Trades Council, including the Union, relating to the construction of a store in Fishkill, New York, to be operated by Old Navy, a subsidiary of The Gap (the "Fishkill Project").

  On September 11, 2000, The Gap faxed the PLA to Coast to Coast. The PLA had already been signed by other subcontractors working on the Fishkill Project. The PLA provided that: (1) a composite work crew of union and non-union workers would be used, and (2) the agreement was specific to the particular job, that it applies as a "single project agreement" and "not to any other work at any other site" and that the "terms and conditions of this Agreement shall be extended to include all Subcontractors" on the Project. The PLA stated further that where "conflicts exist between various Local Collective Bargaining Agreements and this Agreement, this Agreement shall prevail." The PLA was executed by Gary Gaydos on behalf of the Union.

  On September 14, 2000, Coast to Coast, as a subcontractor, faxed a bid proposal for the installation of the storage system to the company providing certain equipment for the Fishkill Project. The bid proposal listed the Fishkill Project as non-union, but also confirmed that Coast to Coast would use a composite crew of union and non-union workers on this specific project.

  On November 21, 2000, Coast to Coast was awarded the contract for the unloading, erecting and installing of all the storage systems in the Fishkill Project.

  On January 10, 2001, after a tour of the job site, Kares attended a breakfast meeting at a Fishkill-area Holiday Inn with the representatives of all the involved unions to discuss how the work would be performed for Coast to Coast's portion of the Fishkill Project. Representatives from the operating engineers, the millwrights, the ...


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