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Domino Sugar Corp. v. Sugar Workers Local Union 392

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

September 30, 1993, Argued ; November 30, 1993, Decided

No. 93-1449

Opinion

 [*1065] OPINION

HAMILTON, Circuit Judge:

Domino Sugar Corporation (the Company) appeals the district court's Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal, without prejudice, of its complaint alleging that Sugar Workers Local Union (the Union) breached the no-strike provision in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The district court granted the Union's Rule 12(b)(6) motion on the basis that the CBA required the Company to submit its  [**2]  dispute to arbitration before seeking judicial review. Finding no error, we affirm.

Because this appeal involves the interpretation of the CBA between the Company and the Union, it is helpful to begin with a discussion of the relevant provisions within that agreement. Article V of the CBA, entitled "Strikes, Stoppages, and Lockouts," discusses the consequences of an employee strike or work stoppage. Specifically, paragraph 5.1 provides:

It is the intent of the parties to this Agreement that the procedures herein shall serve as a means for peaceful settlement of all disputes that may arise between them, and between the Company and its employees.

(J.A. 19). Paragraph 5.2 requires the Union to employ "reasonable efforts to avoid and end [a] strike . . . ." (J.A. 20). Paragraph 5.4 provides:

An employee who . . . participates in a strike . . . during the term of this Agreement will be subject to discharge, or other disciplinary action by the Company. If requested by the Union, such disciplinary action will be processed as a grievance according to the grievance procedure set forth in this Agreement.

The grievances provision within the CBA (Article XV) provides:  [**3]  

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10 F.3d 1064 *; 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 31142 **; 144 L.R.R.M. 2817

DOMINO SUGAR CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SUGAR WORKERS LOCAL UNION 392 OF THE UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, an Unincorporated Association, Defendant-Appellee.

Prior History:  [**1]  Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Frederic N. Smalkin, District Judge. (CA-93-247-S)

Disposition: AFFIRMED

CORE TERMS

arbitration, grievances, district court, collective bargaining agreement, disputes, parties, courts, extrinsic evidence, present case, arbitration provision, motion to dismiss, subject to appeal, interlocutory, complaints, provisions, qualifies, stoppage, appeals

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Final Judgment Rule, Pleadings, Amendment of Pleadings, General Overview, Interlocutory Orders, Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, International Trade Law, Dispute Resolution, International Commercial Arbitration, Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Business & Corporate Compliance, Pretrial Matters, Validity of ADR Methods, Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Federal Preemption, Primacy of Labor Policy, Mandatory ADR, Orders to Compel Arbitration, Labor Arbitration, Arbitration Coverage Limits, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Leave of Court, Contracts Law, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Arbitration Clauses, Interpretation of Agreements