United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
KATHERINE POLK FAILLA United States District Judge.
New York City District Council of Carpenters has filed a
motion requesting two forms of relief. First, Petitioner
seeks to confirm two labor arbitration awards issued pursuant
to Section 301 of the Taft-Hartley Labor Management Relations
Act (the “LMRA”), 29 U.S.C. § 185. Second,
Petitioner moves to recover the attorney's fees and costs
it has incurred in seeking to confirm those awards. The
motion is unopposed: Respondent New England Construction
Company, Inc., did not appear in either of the underlying
arbitration hearings, and has not appeared before this Court.
For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's motion is
granted in full.
case arises out of a collective bargaining agreement (the
“CBA”) between Petitioner, a labor union, and The
Association of Wall-Ceiling & Carpentry Industries of New
York, Incorporated, a trade association of which Respondent
is a member. (CBA 1; Contractors List). Article XIII of the
CBA sets forth procedures the parties must follow to resolve
disputes arising under the CBA. (CBA, art. XIII). The last
step of those procedures, per Section 4 of Article XIII, is
“final and binding arbitration.” (Pet'r 56.1
¶ 2; CBA, art. XIII, § 4).
provisions in Section 4 merit attention here. First, Section
4(a) permits an arbitrator “to conduct an ex-parte
hearing in the event of the failure of either party to be
present at the time and place designated for the
arbitration.” (CBA, art. XIII, § 4(a)). Second,
Section 4(b) mandates that the arbitrator's
“decision … shall be final and binding …
and may be entered as a final decree or judgment in the
Supreme Court of the State of New York or in a court of
appropriate jurisdiction in any state where such decision
shall be rendered.” (Id. § 4(b)).
Finally, Section 4(e) provides that “[u]pon the
confirmation of the arbitrator's award, … the
prevailing party shall be entitled to receive all court costs
in each proceeding as well as reasonable attorney[']s
fees.” (Id. § 4(c)).
alleges that Respondent violated the CBA on two occasions.
(Pet'r 56.1 ¶ 6). First, in September 2013,
Respondent impermissibly terminated a shop steward who was
performing work on a Marriott Hotel in New York City.
(Id.; 2013-1159/2015-870 Arbitration Demand).
Second, in March 2014, Respondent failed to compensate two
carpenters working on the PATH Station at the World Trade
Center for “two hours of show-up pay.” (Pet'r
56.1 ¶ 6; 2014-791 Arbitration Demand). Because
Petitioner and Respondent were unable to resolve either of
these disputes, Petitioner demanded that Respondent submit to
arbitration. (Pet'r 56.1 ¶ 7).
Roger Maher held hearings on both disputes on August 18,
2015. (Pet'r 56.1 ¶ 8). Respondent attended neither
hearing. (2013-1150 Award 1; 2014-791 Award 1). At each
hearing, Petitioner introduced evidence to substantiate its
claim against Respondent. (2013-1150 Award 1-2; 2014-791
days later - August 22, 2015 - Arbitrator Maher issued two
Default Awards in Petitioner's favor. (2013-1150 Award;
2014-791 Award). In the first award, which bears Case Number
2013-1150, Arbitrator Maher determined that Respondent
violated the CBA when it laid off Petitioner's shop
steward. (2013-1150 Award 1-2). As a remedy, Arbitrator Maher
awarded Petitioner $10, 160.40 in wages and fringe benefits,
plus interest. (Id. at 1). And in the second award,
which bears Case Number 2014-791, Arbitrator Maher found that
Respondent violated the CBA by failing to pay
Petitioner's carpenters. (2014-791 Award 1-2). For this
violation, Arbitrator Maher directed Respondent to pay
Petitioner $368.84 in wages and fringe benefits, plus
interest. (Id. at 2). In both awards, Arbitrator
Maher directed Petitioner and Respondent to split his fee
($2, 000.00),  and added that Petitioner's counsel
“would also be entitled to a reasonable
[a]ttorney's fee” in the event Petitioner sought
confirmation of the awards. (2013-1150 Award 2; 2014-791
Maher sent both awards to Respondent by certified mail.
(2013-1150 Award 3; 2014-791 Award 3). On September 28, 2015,
Petitioner mailed to Respondent a letter demanding repayment
for the awards. (9/28/15 Letter). Respondent did not pay -
and to date, has not paid - Petitioner. (Pet'r 56.1
initiated this action on August 22, 2016, by filing a
petition to confirm Arbitrator Maher's two arbitration
awards. (Dkt. #1). In response to this Court's August 23,
2016 Order (Dkt. #5), on September 9, 2016, Petitioner filed
a motion for summary judgment and supporting papers (Dkt.
#9-11). In addition to seeking to confirm the two arbitration
awards, Petitioner asks this Court to award it $700.00 in
attorney's fees and $499.41 in legal costs. (Pet'r
56.1 ¶¶ 22-26).
The Court Confirms Both of Arbitrator Maher's ...