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Rosario v. Local 1106 Transp. Works of America

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 27, 2014

LOUIS ROSARIO, Plaintiff,
v.
LOCAL 1106 TRANSPORT WORKS OF AMERICA and TRANSERVICE LEASE CORPORATION, Defendants

Page 154

For Louis Rosario, Plaintiff: Perry Ian Tischler, LEAD ATTORNEY, Bayside, NY.

For Transervice Lease Corporation, Defendant: Joseph Baumgarten, LEAD ATTORNEY, Proskauer Rose, LLP, New York, NY.

Page 155

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

PAMELA K. CHEN, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Louis Rosario's Complaint principally alleges that he was wrongfully terminated by his former employer, Transervice Lease Corporation (" Transervice" or " Employer" ), and inadequately represented by his union, Transport Workers of America, Local 1106 (" Local 1106" or " Union" ),[1] in the resulting grievance proceedings. (Dkt. 1 (" Compl." ) ¶ ¶ 1, 10, 17, 21.) Transervice moves to dismiss Rosario's Complaint, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12 (b)(6), contending that Rosario's action is time-barred under the relevant statute, § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (" LMRA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 185. For the reasons set forth below, Transervice's motion to dismiss is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

A. The Facts[2]

This action arises from Plaintiff's employment, and subsequent termination, as

Page 156

a Master-Mechanic for Transervice. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 9, 12.) Defendant Transervice is a New York corporation located in Queens that provides maintenance and repair services for automotive vehicles. (Baumgarten Decl., Ex. C[3] at 2.) Defendant Local 1106 is an unincorporated labor organization that collectively bargains for and represents all auto-mechanical maintenance personnel, including Rosario, who service Verizon Corporation (" Verizon" ) owned vehicles throughout the United States. (Compl. ¶ 4.) Local 1106 and Transervice are party to a collective bargaining agreement (" CBA" ) that established wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment for Rosario and his fellow union members. ( Id. at 4, 8, 9.)

On January 17, 2008, Rosario was assigned to repair a Verizon-owned vehicle that had been brought to Transervice to repair an anti-freeze leak. (Compl. ¶ 10; see also Baumgarten Decl., Ex. C at 2.) Rosario requisitioned an assortment of parts, which he allegedly used to make the assigned repairs. ( Ibid.) The following day, a Verizon technician took the vehicle out and within an hour its engine seized, causing the vehicle to completely break down. ( Ibid.) On January 24, 2008, representatives of both the Union and Transervice together inspected the vehicle and concluded that Rosario had never made the alleged repairs. (Baumgarten Decl., Ex. C at 2-3.) Later that evening, Rosario was suspended by Transervice for " falsifying company documents." (Compl. ¶ 10.)

The CBA between the Union and the Employer permits " summary discharge," as opposed to " progressive discipline," only upon " just cause." (Baumgarten Decl., Ex. B at 10.)[4] Any grievances related to discharge must be resolved through " step hearings," and if those prove fruitless, the grievance is submitted to final and binding arbitration before a neutral arbitrator. (Baumgarten Decl., Ex. B at 9-10.) Specifically, Article 15:04 of the CBA provides that, " [i]f the parties fail to adjust the grievance, the parties will within 45 calendar days refer the dispute to the New York Employment Relations Board by written notice requesting that the agency provide panels from which the arbitrator will be selected." ( Id. at 9.)

Pursuant to Article 15.02 of the CBA, on January 31, 2008, a " Step 1" grievance hearing was held without resolution. (Baumgarten Decl., Ex. B at 9; Compl. ¶ 11.) Both parties then agreed to waive a " Step 2" hearing. (Baumgarten Decl., Ex. C at 3.) On February 5, 2008, Transervice permanently terminated Rosario's employment. (Compl. ¶ 12.) Thereafter, Rosario ...


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