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Arbitrator Cannot Expand Scope of Union Representation
Description Appeals court reversed decision in favor of union, requiring company that fell under national collective bargaining agreement to turn non-union work over to union workers. Arbitrator does not have authority to expand the scope of the labor agreement, hence decision can be reviewed by the courts for legality.
Topic Alternate Dispute Resolution
Key Words Arbitration Award, Review
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Miners at five coal mines run by Marrowbone are represented by the UMW. The transporting of supplies among the mines was done by non-union workers. The national UMW agreement, which applied to miners at Marrowbone, called for the transporting of supplies to be done by UMW workers. NLRB held that UMW workers were to take over the transporting work. Marrowbone appealed to the labor arbitrator, who held for the union. Marrowbone appealed to federal district court, which upheld the arbitrator's decision; Marrowbone appealed.
Decision Reversed. The employer can challenge the legality of an arbitrator's award. When the legality is in question, the courts may review the question de novo. The national collective bargaining agreement, requiring the employer to assign work previously done by contractors to UMW workers, violates a NLRA rule prohibiting agreements that require an employer to cease doing business with other persons, even though the national union's members may have traditionally performed such work for other employers. Marrowbone's contract applied the national UMW agreement to existing workers; it did not grant those bargaining for the national collective bargaining agreement to expand the unionís authority.
Citation Marrowbone Development Co. v. Dist. 17, United Mine Workers of America, 1998 WL 293944 (--- F.3d---, 4th Cir.)
147 F 3d 296 (4th cir., 1998)

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