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Supreme Court of the United States
April 28, 1960, Argued ; June 20, 1960, Decided
[*594] [***1426] [**1359] Opinion of the Court by MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, announced by MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN.
Petitioner union and respondent during [****4] the period relevant here had a collective bargaining agreement which provided that any differences "as to the meaning and application" of the agreement should be submitted to arbitration and that the arbitrator's decision "shall be final and binding on the parties." Special provisions were included concerning the suspension and discharge of employees. The agreement stated:
"Should it be determined by the Company or by an arbitrator in accordance with the grievance procedure that the employee has been [***1427] suspended unjustly or discharged in violation of the provisions of this Agreement, the Company shall reinstate the employee and pay full compensation at the employee's regular rate of pay for the time lost."
[*595] [**1360] The agreement also provided:
". . . It is understood and agreed that neither party will institute civil suits or legal proceedings against the other for alleged violation of any of the provisions of this labor contract; instead all disputes will be settled in the manner outlined in this Article III -- Adjustment of Grievances."
A group of employees left their jobs in protest against the discharge of one employee. A union official [****5] advised them at once to return to work. An official of respondent at their request gave them permission and then rescinded it. The next day they were told they did not have a job any more "until this thing was settled one way or the other."
A grievance was filed; and when respondent finally refused to arbitrate, this suit was brought for specific enforcement of the arbitration provisions of the agreement. The District Court ordered arbitration. The arbitrator found that the discharge of the men was not justified, though their conduct, he said, was improper. In his view the facts warranted at most a suspension of the men for 10 days each. After their discharge and before the arbitration award the collective bargaining agreement had expired. The union, however, continued to represent the workers at the plant. The arbitrator rejected the contention that expiration of the agreement barred reinstatement of the employees. He held that the provision of the agreement above quoted imposed an unconditional obligation on the employer. He awarded reinstatement with back pay, minus pay for a 10-day suspension and such sums as these employees received from other employment.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
363 U.S. 593 *; 80 S. Ct. 1358 **; 4 L. Ed. 2d 1424 ***; 1960 U.S. LEXIS 1922 ****; 40 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P66,630; 46 L.R.R.M. 2423
UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA v. ENTERPRISE WHEEL & CAR CORP.
Prior History: [****1] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT.
Disposition: 269 F.2d 327, reversed in part.
arbitrator, employees, expiration, reinstatement, collective bargaining agreement, collective agreement, provisions, backpay, discharged, courts, wages
Business & Corporate Compliance, Pretrial Matters, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Validity of ADR Methods, Civil Procedure, Arbitration, General Overview, Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Labor Arbitration, Arbitration Awards, Judicial Review, Settlements, Settlement Agreements, Enforcement, Judicial Review, Arbitrators, Authority, Enforcement of Bargaining Agreements, Contracts Law, Defenses, Ambiguities & Mistakes, Federal Preemption, Primacy of Labor Policy