United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
Steamfitters Local Union No, 602 of the United Association of Journeymen, and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States & Canada, AFL-CIO, Plaintiff,
Aleut Facilities Support Services, LLC, Defendant.
O'Grady United Slates District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on a Motion for Summary
Judgment filed by Plaintiff Steamfitters Local Union No. 602
("Local 602" or "the Union"). Dkt. No.
17. Defendant Aleut Facilities Support Services, LLC
("Aleut") terminated one of the Union's
members, Stuart Bonham. Local 602 alleges that it went
through the proper grievance procedures set out in the
collective bargaining agreement it had entered into with
Aleut. Ultimately, a Grievance Committee voted to reinstate
Mr. Bonham and awarded him lost wages. Aleut has refused to
honor the Grievance Committee's decision and Local 602
now seeks to enforce the decision in this action. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court finds good cause to GRANT
the Motion for Summary Judgment.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement and Grievance
December 13, 2013, Aleut and Local 602 entered into a
collective bargaining agreement (the "Agreement").
Pursuant to this Agreement, Aleut recognized Local 602 as the
sole and exclusive collective bargaining agent for all
full-time and part-time employees employed by Aleut to
perform maintenance; repairs, and alterations to facilities
at the Ft. Belvoir Military Base in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Article 13 of the Agreement contains a four step Grievance
Procedure the parties must follow in the case of "any
dispute between an employee or the Union and [Aleut], over
the application or interpretation of any provision of the
1, an employee, or a designated Union representative, can
present a grievance to the employee's immediate
supervisor within four workdays after the event giving rise
to the grievance took place. The immediate supervisor then
has four days to respond orally to the employee or Union
representative. If the grievance is not settled, the employee
may proceed to Step 2.
2, the employee or Union representative must submit a
complaint in writing to the Project Manager within three
workdays of receiving the Step 1 response from the immediate
supervisor. The Project Manager then has five workdays to
respond in writing. If the employee is unhappy with the
Project Manager's response, he may appeal to Step 3
within five workdays of receiving the response. At Step 3,
the complaint is appealed to the Vice President of Programs.
The Vice President must render a decision on the appeal
within ten workdays.
4, the Union can appeal the Vice President's decision to
a Grievance Committee. To do so, within ten workdays from
receiving the Vice President's decision, the Union must
inform the Project Manager of the appeal in writing and
include the names of two individuals that the Union appoints
to be members of the Grievance Committee. Within three
workdays, the Project Manager must notify the Union in
writing of the two individuals Aleut is appointing to the
Grievance Committee. The four appointed members must meet
within five workdays and select a fifth impartial Grievance
Committee member. The Grievance Committee must then meet and
render a decision on the dispute within ten days. If the four
appointed members cannot agree on a fifth impartial member
then the dispute is subject to arbitration.
14 of the Agreement outlines specific arbitration procedures,
including when a party may seek arbitration. Article 14
Any grievance which has not been settled pursuant to steps 1
or 2 of the Grievance Procedure, and which involves the
interpretation or application of this Agreement, may be
referred to arbitration by written notice from the grieving
party to the other within ten calendar (10) days after the
Step 2 decision or ten (10) calendar days after the Step 2
decision was due. If the grieving party fails to submit a
written notice to the other party demanding arbitration
within either ten (10) calendar days after the other party
has rendered its Step 2 decision or ten (10) days after the
Step 2 decision was due, such grievance, and the position
taken by the grieving party, shall be deemed to have been
Termination of Stuart Bonham and Resulting Grievance
25, 2015, Aleut terminated Stuart Bonham. On July 1, 2015,
Bonham initiated a grievance, claiming that Aleut did not
have just cause to terminate him. The parties then proceeded
through the grievance procedure set forth in Article 13, with
the parties agreeing to consolidate Steps 2 and 3. On July 8,
2015, Aleut denied the Union's grievance at Step 3. The
Union then appealed to Step 4 by letter dated July 20, 2015.
The Union identified Chris Madello and Bruce Best as its
representatives to serve on the Grievance Committee. By email
on July 23, 2016, Aleut identified Damian Guerin and Ken
Nachbar as its representative to serve on the Grievance
thereafter, the Grievance Committee selected Shelton Evans as
the fifth impartial member of the Grievance Committee and all
of the parties signed a consulting agreement with Mr. Evans.
On September 1, 2015, the Grievance Committee met to consider
Mr. Bonham's termination. At some point just before this
meeting began, Aleut's representatives refused to
participate and left. Aleut says that its representatives
refused to participate because they disagreed with Local 602
about whether the decision of the Grievance Committee was
final and binding on the parties and whether the decision
could be submitted to arbitration if the Committee could not
reach a joint and unanimous decision. Before leaving, the
Aleut representatives rescinded the consulting agreement with
Mr. Evans. Thereafter, the Grievance Committee, with only the
two Union representatives and Mr. Evans participating, ruled
to reinstate Mr. Bonham and awarded him lost wages.
September 18, 2015, Aleut notified Local 602 that it would
not recognize the Grievance Committee's decision. Aleut
has continually refused to reinstate Mr. Bonham or to give
him the awarded lost wages. Consequently, Local 602 filed
this action on December ...