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Transp. Workers Union, Local 252 v. Veolia Transp. Servs., Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

March 18, 2014

TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA, LOCAL 252, AFL-CIO, Petitioner,
v.
VEOLIA TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC., d/b/a NASSAU INTER-COUNTY EXPRESS BUS, Respondent

For the Petitioner: Edward J. Groake, Esq., Jennifer D. Weekley, Esq., Michael Dennis Bosso, Esq., Of Counsel, Colleran, O'Hara & Mills, LLP, Garden City, NY.

For the Respondent: James N. Foster, Esq., Michelle Cain, Esq., Of Counsel, McMahon Berger, PC, Saint Louis, MO.

For the Respondent: John K. Diviney, Esq., Scott Green, Esq., Of Counsel, Rivkin Radler LLP, Uniondale, NY.

OPINION

Page 224

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.

On December 12, 2012, pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1, et seq. (the " FAA" ) and the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, et seq. (the " LMRA" ), the Petitioner Transport Workers Union of America, Local 252, AFL-CIO (the " Petitioner" ) commenced this action against the Respondent Veolia Transportation Services, Inc., d/b/a Nassau Inter-County Express Bus (the " Respondent" ) by filing a petition to compel arbitration. Presently pending before the Court is (1) the Petitioner's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Fed.R.Civ.P. 56" ) and (2) the Respondent's cross-motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.

For the following reasons, the Petitioner's motion for summary judgment is granted and the Respondent's cross-motion for summary judgment is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

The Respondent operates a fixed-route bus service in Nassau County known as the " Nassau Inter-County Express Bus." The Petitioner is a labor union that represents bus drivers, mechanics and others who are employed by the Respondent.

The Petitioner and the Respondent are parties to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (the " CBA" ), which is effective from January 1, 2012 through April 15, 2017. The CBA " constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties and [ ] there are no other agreements, oral or written, relating to the terms and conditions of employment of the employees other than the provisions contained [within the CBA] or attached [to the CBA] and made a part [of the CBA]." (Groake Decl., Exh. A.)

Under the provisions of the CBA, " [t]he Impartial Arbitrator shall have the authority to decide all grievances and complaints but he shall not have the authority to render any opinion or make any award, (i) which amends, modifies, or changes [the CBA] or any of its terms; or (ii) limiting or interfering in any way with the [Respondent's] managerial responsibility to run its transit facilities safely, efficiently, and economically." (Groake Decl., Exh.

Page 225

A.) Of importance, the CBA defines " the term 'grievance' or 'complaint' . . . [to] mean[ ] any dispute arising out of the interpretation or application of the provisions of, or attachments to [the CBA]." (Groake Decl., Exh. A.)

By letter dated June 7, 2012, the Petitioner's counsel requested that four separate disciplinary grievances and two separate contract grievances all be presented and heard at one pre-scheduled arbitration before the Impartial Arbitrator, Howard Edelman (" Arbitrator Edelman" ). The arbitration for these six different grievances was scheduled at the Petitioner's office for July 17, 2012.

Thereafter, on July 12, 2012, the Respondent's Counsel contacted another Impartial Arbitrator, Richard Horn (" Arbitrator Horn" ). The Respondent sought to arbitrate one of the six grievances that the Petitioner had scheduled to be heard by Arbitrator Edelman in July 17, 2012 before Arbitrator Horn. Specifically, the Respondent, sought to have this one grievance arbitrated in August of 2012 before Arbitrator Horn instead of Arbitrator Edelman.

The Respondent claimed that the parties had agreed to present only one grievance per arbitration per month. The Petitioner disputed the Respondent's claim stating that there was no such agreement. The Petitioner also argued that arbitrating just one grievance a month was inefficient; expensive; and detrimental to those employees who had been ...


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