United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
O'GRADY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff, AECOM Special
Mission Services, Inc.'s ("AECOM"), Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings, Dkt. No. 10; and Defendant,
International Union of Operating Engineers, Local No.
99's ("Local No. 99") Cross-motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings. Dkt. No. 15. Plaintiff seeks a declaratory
judgment that the parties' Collective Bargaining
Agreement ("CBA") expired. Defendant counters that
the Court lacks authority to enter judgment because the
dispute is subject to binding arbitration. In the hearing in
this matter on December 21, 2016, the Court found that it did
have authority to hear the dispute and noted its intent to
GRANT Plaintiffs Motion and DENY Defendant's Motion. This
memorandum opinion sets forth the reasons for that decision.
following facts are taken from the Complaint, Answer, and
attached exhibits which are all considered in addressing a
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. See Seneca Ins. Co.
v. Shipping Boxes I, LLC, 30 F.Supp.3d 506, 510 (E.D.
Va. 2014) ("in addressing a Rule 12(c) motion, the Court
may consider the Answer and attached exhibits in addition to
is a Pennsylvania corporation which provides operations and
management services, in relevant part, to United States
government agencies in Fairfax County, Virginia. Some of the
employees working at these facilities are members of
Defendant-union. Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a CBA
which commenced on June 1, 2012. The CBA was scheduled to run
until May 30, 2014 but Article XI of the CBA includes an
"evergreen clause" which provides that the CBA
renews each year on May 30 unless a party provides written
notice of the desire to not renew. The notice must be given
more than sixty days prior to May 30. The sixty day renewal
notice mirrors the requirement set forth in section 8(d) of
the National Labor Relations Act that "no party shall
terminate or modify such contract unless the party desiring
[to terminate]... serves a written notice upon the other
party ... sixty days prior to the expiration date
thereof[.]" 29 U.S.C. § 158(d). The CBA renewed on
its termination dates in 2014 and 2015 as neither party filed
a written notice of expiration.
also contains an arbitration provision. Article VI provides
that "[i]n the event any grievance or dispute arises as
to the interpretation, application, or any claimed violation
of this Agreement, the Union and the Employer shall meet in
an effort to reach an amicable settlement." Dkt. No. 5,
Exh. A at 7. The CBA grievance process consists of three
"steps" of party-initiated review. "In the
event that the matter remains unresolved after the third
step, either party may ... refer the matter to binding
arbitration." Id. at 8.
2016, the parties engaged in negotiations for a new CBA.
Lester Jordan, AECOM's Director of Employee & Labor
Relations was the principal CBA negotiator for AECOM. On
March 25, 2016, Mr. Jordan sent a letter to Don Havard,
President of Local 99. The subject line of the letter stated:
"Subject: Notification of Intent Not to Renew Current
CBA." The letter states in its entirety:
This is notification pursuant to Article XI of the Collective
Bargaining Agreement (CBA), as well as Section 8(d) of the
National Labor Relations Act, of AECOM's intent to
discontinue the evergreen clause for the existing CBA between
the parties dated June 1, 2012 to and including May 30, 2014
at Langley, VA, on the next anniversary, May 30, 2016. It
shall not renew thereafter unless agreed to in writing by the
parties. AECOM's desire is to continue bargaining with
the IUOE in good faith for a follow on CBA. I am available
for negotiations the week of April 4th, and May 2nd. If other
dates are more suitable, I may be able to rearrange my
schedule. Please let me know your availability.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at
757-383-6223 or 301-526-0093.
Dkt. No. 1, Exh.2.
received Plaintiffs letter on or before March 28, 2016. Over
the ensuing months, Defendant took a number of steps to
express its disagreement with the letter. Sometime before
April 15, 2016, Mr. Havard wrote to Mr. Jordan that Defendant
did not believe that the March 25, 2016 letter constituted a
withdrawal from the CBA. Defendant's original response to
the letter was not entered into evidence but Defendant
contends that "the letter provides notice not of a
timely intent to terminate the CBA, but rather, to terminate
a specific, unnumbered section of the CBA, identified by
AECOM as the "evergreen clause." Dkt. No. 15, Exh.
2 at 9. On April 15, 2016, Mr. Lester replied to Mr. Havard
reinforcing Plaintiffs view that the March 28, 2016 letter
was a clear intent to terminate pursuant to the CBA.
Defendant filed a grievance with Plaintiff on May 3, 2016. On
July 12, 2016 Plaintiff sent a "Step 3" response to
Defendant's grievance. The Step 3 response reiterated the
viewpoint expressed in the April 15, 2016 letter. Defendant
filed an arbitration demand on August 31, 2016 with the
American Arbitration Association in relation to the earlier
grievance. Plaintiff sent a letter to the American
Arbitration Association objecting to the arbitration demand.
with their dispute over whether the CBA had expired, the
parties continued to negotiate over a new CBA. Plaintiff
extended a last, best, and final offer in early June 2016.
The offer was rejected by Defendant's members. The
parties continued to negotiate and a tentative agreement for
a new CBA was reached on August 25, 201§. The members
rejected this tentative agreement.
filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment pursuant to
Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act 29 U.S.C.
§§ 185, et seq., and Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 57 on October 5, 2016. Dkt. No. 1. Defendant filed
an Answer and Counterclaim to compel arbitration on October
26, 2016. Dkt. No. 5. Plaintiff moved for Judgment on the
Pleadings on November 21, 2016. Dkt. No. 10. Defendant
cross-moved for Judgment on the Pleadings on December 1,
2016. Dkt. No. 15. The matter was fully briefed by the
parties. The Court held a hearing on the Motions on December
21, 2016. The ...