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Local Union No. 1 of The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of The Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of The United States and Canada v. Jpp Plumbing, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. New York

March 27, 2014

LOCAL UNION NO. 1 of the UNITED ASSOCIATION OF JOURNEYMEN AND APPRENTICES OF THE PLUMBING AND PIPE FITTING INDUSTRY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, Petitioner,
v.
JPP PLUMBING, LLC, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DORA L. IRIZARRY, District Judge.

Local Union No. 1 of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada ("Petitioner" or "Local Union No. 1") initiated this action to confirm two arbitration awards issued against JPP Plumbing, LLC ("Respondent" or "JPP Plumbing"). Petitioner moved for summary judgment and Respondent cross-moved to vacate the awards. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Petitioner's motion for summary judgment and denies Respondent's cross-motion to vacate the awards.

BACKGROUND

I. Factual Background

Local Union No. 1 is a signatory to a series of collective bargaining agreements (individually, "CBA" and collectively, "CBAs") that included coverage from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2012. (Pet. Rule 56.1 Statement ¶ 3, Doc. No. 18-11; Resp. Response to Pet. Rule 56.1 Statement ("Resp. Response to Rule 56.1") ¶ 3, Doc. No. 19.) On February 10, 2009, JPP Plumbing executed an agreement to be bound by the provisions of the CBAs. (Pet. Rule 56.1 Statement ¶ 4; Resp. Response to Rule 56.1 ¶ 4.) JPP Plumbing is an employer that acted as a subcontractor on a project located at the Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plaint, in Brooklyn, New York. (Resp. Rule 56.1 Statement ¶ 2, Doc. No. 20-2.)

A. First Arbitration

In April 2011, Local Union No. 1 filed a grievance against "JPP Picone." ( Id. at ¶ 29.) After a hearing held on May 11, 2011, the Petitioner withdrew its claim against "JPP Picone, " who was not a signatory to the CBAs, and re-filed the action against JPP Plumbing. ( Id. at ¶ 31.) The grievance alleged that trench drain covers were installed by dock builders, rather than Local Union No. 1 plumbers, in contravention of Local Union No. 1's CBA. (Decl. of Jane Lauer Barker Ex. E at 1 of Mins. of Exec. Comm. Hrg., Doc. No. 18-6.) On July 20, 2011, a hearing was held on the re-filed action against JPP Plumbing. ( Id. at 1.)

On July 21, 2011, the Executive Committee issued a decision (the "Trench Drain Cover Award") on the re-filed action. ( Id. ) The Executive Committee found in favor of Local Union No. 1 because JPP Plumbing failed to submit evidence to support its claim that there was a jurisdictional issue related to the dock builders' union. ( Id. ("In the absence of any evidence that the work in dispute should not have been performed by plumbers pursuant to the CBA signed by the Employer, the Executive Committee finds in favor of the Union....").) The Executive Committee had requested the dock builders' CBA at the hearing held on May 11, 2011 but it was never provided. ( Id. ) The Trench Drain Cover Award provided "that the Employer shall pay 140 hours of wages and fringes to be apportioned among the Local 1 member [sic], working at the job at the time." ( Id. )

The July 21, 2011 Trench Drain Cover Award was faxed and mailed on the date of issuance and Respondent admits receipt, at the latest, on July 25, 2011. (Pet. Rule 56.1 Statement ¶ 21; Resp. Response to Rule 56.1 ¶ 21.)

B. Second Arbitration

On September 20, 2011, Local Union No. 1 requested arbitration of claims that JPP Plumbing had violated various provisions of the CBA. (Barker Decl. ¶ 8.) On October 25, 2011 and December 21, 2011, the Executive Committee held hearings on these grievances. ( Id. at ¶ 8; Resp. Response to Rule 56.1 ¶ 8.) The grievance related to the 41G Contract alleged a violation of Paragraph 44 of the CBA, which requires a plumber to maintain construction water under certain circumstances. (Barker Decl. Ex. C at 3.)

On January 5, 2012, the Executive Committee issued a decision (the "Construction Water Award"). The decision addressed various questions pertaining to different provisions of three different contracts. The Executive Committee could not agree on whether there were violations of two of the contracts, the 47G Contract and the 35G Contract, and referred those matters to the Full Arbitration Committee pursuant to the CBA. ( Id. at 2-3.) The Executive Committee rendered a decision on the alleged construction water violation. The committee found that JPP Plumbing "violated Paragraph 44 of the CBA by not paying for maintenance of construction water for 1, 023 hours." ( Id. at 6.) Further, in addition to the wage and fringe benefits awarded in the amount of $90, 484.35, the Executive Committee imposed of penalty of $10, 000. ( Id. ) The penalty was based on JPP Plumbing's "pretty serious breach" of a "simple, clear and longstanding provision of the CBA." ( Id. )

Respondent admits receipt of the January 5, 2012 Construction Water Award on January 6, 2012. (Resp. Response to Rule 56.1 ¶ 15.)

II. Procedural History

On April 25, 2012, Local Union No.1 initiated the instant action to confirm the Construction Water and Trench Drain Cover Awards. (Pet., Doc. No. 1.) On July 24, 2012, JPP Plumbing ...


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