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International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers v. Charter Communications, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 16, 2018

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, AFL-CIO, LOCAL UNION NO. 3, Petitioner,
v.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC., Respondent.

          International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, Local Union No. 3: Robert T. McGovern Alexandra Howell John H. Byington, III Marty Gerard Glennon Archer Byington Glennon & Levine LLP

          Kenneth Alan Margolis Kauff McGuire & Margolis LLP

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          Jack B. Weinstein, Senior Judge

         Table of Contents I. Introduction..........................................................................................................................2

         II. Facts.................................................................................................................................3

         A. The Original Collective Bargaining Agreement...........................................................3

         B. Memorandum of Agreement........................................................................................4

         C. Local 3's Continued Acceptance of, and Benefit from, the CBA................................4

         D. National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") Decision 1...............................................5

         E. NLRB Decision 2.........................................................................................................6

         III. Law...................................................................................................................................7

         A. Summary Judgment......................................................................................................7

         B. Jurisdiction Under the Labor Management Relations Act...........................................7

         C. Intent to be Bound........................................................................................................8

         IV. Application of Law.........................................................................................................10

         V. Conclusion......................................................................................................................11

         I. Introduction

         This action is a continuation of the litigation between International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, Local Union No. 3 ("Local 3") and the employer of its members, Charter Communications, Inc. ("Charter"). See e.g. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO, Local Union No. 3 v. Charter Communications Inc., No. 17-CV-5357, 2017 WL 4280591, at *1 (E.D.N.Y.Sept. 25, 2017); Time Warner Cable of New York City LLC v. Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, 170 F.Supp.3d 392, 398 (E.D.N.Y. 2016), judgment entered, No. 14-CV-2437, 2016 WL 1317402 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2016), aff'd sub nom. Time Warner Cable of New York City LLC v. Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, AFL-CIO, Local Union No. 3, 684 Fed.Appx. 68 (2d Cir. 2017).

         Thousands of union members are employed by Charter in the New York metropolitan area to install and service consumer televisions.

         The question is whether Local 3 members were bound by a provision in a Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") requiring arbitration of disputes on March 28, 2017, when they were allegedly on strike?

         The parties agree that on March 31, 2017, the no-strike obligation was not in force, so the contested strike period up for arbitration on claimed damages by Charter is three days.

         The following uncontested facts establish the existence of a binding agreement mandating arbitration of any dispute prior to March 31, 2017: (1) the parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement ("MOA"), on March 28, 2013, to extend the then in force CBA to March 31, 2017; (2) Local 3 ratified the agreement (the new CBA) by unanimous vote of its 1, 300 members; (3) after ratification, the union accepted improved wages and benefits provided as part of the new CBA; ...


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