Arbitration Decisions

Illinois Plumbing & Heating Supply Company and Teamsters Local 916, FMCS 110525-02799-A

On October 19, 2011, Arbitrator Cynthia Stanley ruled in favor of Illinois Plumbing & Heating Supply Company and dismissed the Union's grievance in its entirety. Andy Martone and Matt Robinson successfully defended the Company in this case, in which the Union alleged that the Company was required to allow the grievant to utilize sick time for reasons other than personal illness. Arbitrator Stanley upheld the Company's interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement.Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

APL Logistics and United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, Local Union No. 1166, FMCS No. 09-0722-59087-A (2010).

On May 25, 2010, Arbitrator William Sigler ruled in favor of APL Logistics in the case and dismissed the Union's grievance in its entirety. Andy Martone successfully defended APL in this case, in which the Union alleged that Grievant Richard Scott had been wrongfully discharged.Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, Local Union No. 1166 and APL Logistics, FMCS No. 090323-55021-A (2010).

Andy Martone represented the employer, APL Logistics, in discharge arbitration case. Arbitrator Greco upheld a discharge involving a serious forklift accident where the grievant refused to take a drug test. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

APL Logistics and Int'l Chemical Workers Union Council/ ICWU/UFCW Local 15-C, FMCS No. 09-58955-A (2010).

Andy Martone represented the employer, APL Logistics, in a discharge arbitration in which the Company discharged the grievant for unsafe operation of a forklift. Arbitrator Alan M. Wolk ruled in the Company's favor and upheld the discharge. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Service Employees International Union, Local 6 and Huntleigh USA Corporation (2009).

Michael Bobroff represented the employer, Huntleigh USA Corporation in this discharge arbitration case. The employer discharged the grievant, a skycap, for violating clear, established company policy by soliciting a tip. The arbitrator found the testimony of the neutral witness credible and found the discharge penalty not too severe in the circumstances. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Hillsdale Fabricators, Inc. and Shopmen's Local Union No. 518, FMCS No. 091002-500092-A (2009).

Andy Martone successfully represented the employer, Hillsdale Fabricators (a division of Alberici), against the Union's challenge to the Company's decision to conduct plant-wide drug testing. Arbitrator Erbs upheld the Company's broad discretion to protect the health and safety of its employees and denied the grievance.Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Central Stone Company and International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 513-C, AFL-CIO, FMCS No. 070531-57175-A (2008).

Andy Martone and Mike Schmitt represented the employer, Central Stone Company in this discharge arbitration case under the collective bargaining agreement. The employer discharged the grievant for misrepresentation of his ability to work related to back injury occurring due to an incident on the job. The arbitrator viewed video surveillance obtained by the company showing the grievant lifting his children, getting into his car and lifting heavy weights at the gym. The treating physician, after viewing the same video, testified in his deposition that the activities seen in the video were inconsistent with complaints the employee had reported to him, that the grievant had exaggerated his pain and disability. After considering this evidence, plus supplemental information from the company about the grievant's claim and work history, Arbitrator Mark W. Suardi found the grievant's testimony was not credible and that he was terminated for just cause. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Keystone Steel and Wire Company and Independent Steel Workers' Alliance, Grievance No. 02W-FAB-124 (2007).

Dan Doetzel represented the employer, Keystone Steel and Wire Company in this discharge arbitration case. The employer, in accordance with its rights under the collective bargaining agreement, required grievant to perform overtime. The grievant, indicating he had a job interview, refused to work the required overtime. The grievant's supervisor warned him that this excuse was not sufficient and he would be charged with insubordination if he left under those circumstances. The grievant punched out and left work anyway. Arbitrator Jack P. Cerone found that the company had previously been lenient in merely suspending the grievant in connection with prior misconduct. In light of grievant's record of infractions, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the company, stating, "The Company doesn't have to tolerate unacceptable behavior multiple times before it imposes severe discipline." The grievance was denied in its entirety. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Keystone Steel and Wire Company and Independent Steel Workers' Alliance, Grievance No. 03W-BW-27 (2007).

Dan Doetzel represented the employer in this arbitration case brought pursuant to the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The grievant challenged the employer's decision to discharge him for falsifying the reason for his absence. When grievant called off sick from work, he presented a doctor's note, but was confronted by his foreman when his picture appeared in a local newspaper. The article identified grievant by name, age and picture as among several men sharing a jug of wine and ice-fishing on the day the grievant was out sick. The grievant denied that he was the individual portrayed in the article, but the arbitrator, Vickie Peterson Cohn, found the Company's investigation and testimony legitimate, and the grievant's "incredulous theories and changing stories" unbelievable. The grievance was denied. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Keystone Steel and Wire Company and Independent Steel Workers' Alliance, Grievance No. 04W-FAB-94 (2006).

Andy Martone represented the employer, Keystone Steel and Wire Company in this discharge arbitration case under the collective bargaining agreement. The employer discharged the grievant for falsifying his time card. Arbitrator Katherine Gerstenberger found the grievant's testimony was not credible and that he intended to deceive the employer when he altered and submitted his time card without the authorization or knowledge of his supervisor. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

University Forest Manor L.L.C. and Service Employees Int'l Union, Local 2000, 2005 WL 2977589 (2005).

Andy Martone represented University Forest Manor L.L.C. in this discharge arbitration case under the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The employee, a union steward, contended that the employer did not have just cause to discharge her for insubordination, that the employer retaliated against her for her union activities, and that the employer denied the grievant her Weingarten rights. Arbitrator Mark W. Suardi denied the grievance. The arbitrator found the supervisor's testimony more credible and found no evidence that the employer retaliated against the employee for any union activity. Further, the arbitrator agreed with the employer's position that the grievant's Weingarten rights were not violated. Reprinted from Westlaw with permission of Thompson/West (PDF file).

Agency for Community Transit and Service Employees Int'l Union, Local 1 (August 12, 2005).

Andy Martone represented the employer, Agency for Community Transit, in this discharge case involving the interpretation of the Company's Accident Policy. Arbitrator Horn found the Company had just cause to discharge the grievant for causing a preventable accident.Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Christy Minerals, LLC and Steelworkers Local No. 790-02, FMCS No. 05-0420-55235-7 (2005).

Andy Martone represented Christy Minerals in this arbitration case in which the Union challenged the Company's implementation of a work rule requiring employees to clock out for breaks and meals and when leaving for personal reasons. Arbitrator Erbs upheld the Company's right to make the work rule at issue and rejected the Union's past practice claim and its contention that the Company was required to negotiate.Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

County of Effingham and Sheriff of Effingham County and AFSCME Council 31, slip op. (2004).

Andy Martone represented the County in an interest arbitration case under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act. The parties failed to reach agreement on wages, insurance, and an additional pay raise for telecommunicators. Arbitrator Edwin H. Benn adopted the County's offer on all three issues. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

APL Logistics and United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America and Local Union No. 1166, FMCS No. 02-09435 (2003).

Andy Martone represented the employer, APL Logistics in this contract interpretation arbitration case. The union challenged the employer's practice of calculating an employee's years of service for determining vacation entitlement on the first day of the calendar year rather than on the date of the employee's anniversary of hire. Arbitrator Edwin H. Benn found that the union did not carry its burden to demonstrate the collective bargaining agreement was violated. While the union's interpretation of the contract language might arguably be more plausible, the employer's interpretation was plausible, and the parties' past practice and bargaining history supported the employer's position. The arbitrator denied the union's grievance. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Site Improvement Association and Member Sierra Bravo, Inc. and Local No. 53, affiliated with the Eastern Missouri Laborers' District Council and the Laborers' International Union of North America, AFL-CIO (2003).

Dan Doetzel represented the employer in this arbitration case. The grievant, the shop steward, was the only laborer working at a flooded construction site, preparing to drain the field for work the next day. His supervisor directed grievant to connect a hose in a sump pit. The grievant tried to couple the hose to the pump without success, and refused to wade deeper into the water to do so without hipwaders, claiming unsafe conditions. When it was later discovered that the grievant had laid the hose incorrectly and was told to re-lay the hose so that the proper fitting could be connected to the pump, he refused and asked to be taken to his truck. When asked if he was quitting, the grievant said "yes" and asked for his final paycheck. At the arbitration hearing, the union argued that grievant's employment was terminated without just cause because of his refusal to do work he felt was unsafe. The union demanded that the grievant be reinstated with backpay and benefits. The company maintained that the grievant voluntarily quit. Arbitrator James P. O'Grady found the company position more credible, that grievant voluntarily quit his employment and that no remedy in this case was appropriate. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Keystone Steel and Wire Company and Independent Steel Workers' Alliance, Grievance No. 00S-RW-208 (2002).

Andy Martone represented the employer in this arbitration case under the collective bargaining agreement. The grievant challenged the employer's decision to discharge him for insubordination and for threatening or abusing a supervisor. The arbitrator, Frances Asher Penn, found the supervisor's testimony credible and found the grievant's testimony was not credible, and, therefore, the arbitrator denied the grievance. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Keystone Steel and Wire Company and Independent Steel Workers' Alliance, 2002 WL 31275127 (2002).

Andy Martone represented the employer, Keystone Steel and Wire Company in this discharge arbitration case under the collective bargaining agreement. The employer discharged the grievant for sleeping on the job. Arbitrator James P. O'Grady found the credible evidence that showed the employee deliberately found a quiet location to take a nap. The arbitrator upheld the employer's action, denying the grievance of the employee. Reprinted from Westlaw with permission of Thompson/West (PDF file).

Southern Equipment Company and Sheet Metal Workers Int'l Union, Local No. 93, 1994 WL 837546 (1994).

Andy Martone represented Southern Equipment Company. In this contract arbitration case under the collective bargaining agreement, the parties disputed the rate of pay for a red-circled refrigeration man who bumped down to production work to avoid a layoff. Arbitrator John R. Thornell agreed with the employer's position that the proper wage rate was controlled by the clear and explicit language in the current agreement and not by language in a prior agreement, as argued by the union. Reprinted from Westlaw with permission of Thompson/West (PDF file).

Southern Equipment Company and Metal Polishers, Buffers, Platers and Allied Workers, Int'l Union Local 13, FMCS No. 93-15644 (1993).

Andy Martone represented the employer, Southern Equipment Company in this contract interpretation arbitration before Arbitrator Arnold G. Franke. The union contended that the employer violated the collective bargaining agreement when it laid off two polishers without giving them the required notice and opportunity to work for 30 days after the layoff of the grinders in the bargaining unit; the union sought 30 days' pay for the two polishers. The employer had offered to keep the polishers employed performing miscellaneous duties for the remaining 10 working days of the 30-day period, but the polishers refused this offer. Arbitrator Franke found in favor of the employer and denied the grievance. The arbitrator found the employer erred in announcing the layoff on February 10 without offering 10 additional days of work or pay, but that the employer's offer on February 12 to continue to employ the two polishers for the remaining 10 working days was within the employer's rights. The polishers should have abided by the rule to "work now, grieve later" and their demand for 30-days' pay was clearly excessive. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Spectrulite Consortium, Inc. and Local 250, United Plant Guard Workers of America, FMCS No. 91-28-1414 (1992).

Andy Martone represented Spectrulite Consortium, Inc., the employer in this arbitration case arising under the parties' collective bargaining agreement. The employer discharged the grievant, an armed security guard, after drawing her handgun and threatening to shoot herself. The grievant had fallen into severe depression, which despite treatment, had worsened. After the incident, grievant was hospitalized and treated. Upon her return to work, the employer advised her she was suspended pending discharge but offered her an alternate position as a process control technician. The grievant refused this offer, and the employer discharged her. Arbitrator Gerald Cohen found that while the grievant was a sympathetic figure, the employer had not failed to act to help her and had just cause to discharge grievant under its rule for misusing a firearm due to the intrinsic danger in misusing a gun. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

Spectrulite Consortium, Inc. and Local 4804, United Steelworkers of America, FMCS No. 90-15677 (1990).

Andy Martone defended Spectrulite Consortium, Inc. in this arbitration case in which the union grieved the company's decision to disqualify grievant as a fork lift truck operator and to transfer him to another, lower wage position. While operating a fork lift truck, the grievant caused two accidents on two consecutive work days which nearly killed or seriously injured two co-workers. The company's investigation revealed the grievant was a reckless driver and some co-workers were afraid to work with him. Arbitrator Edward W. Garnholz denied the grievance, finding the grievant was an unsafe fork lift truck operator and had caused two incidents in which co-workers narrowly avoided death or serious injury. The arbitrator agreed that the company could have considered the grievant's conduct as a disciplinary matter which might have justified discharge and the company acted within its rights under the management rights clause of the collective bargaining agreement to disqualify the grievant and transfer him. Link to copy of decision (PDF file).

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