The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henley, District Judge.
Attached to the motion as exhibits are copies of the collective
bargaining agreement and of the changes which the Union proposes
to incorporate into the contract. Since the Court has considered
those materials in addition to the bare allegations of the
complaint, the motion will be treated as one for summary judgment
as authorized by Rule 12(b). The motion has been submitted on
The contract in suit covered an initial period of two years
beginning November 1, 1958, and ending October 31, 1960. By its
terms the agreement continues in effect from year to year
thereafter unless amended, modified, or terminated as provided
therein. The contract appears to be not unusual in form. It
covers wages, hours, and working conditions, and contains
provisions for the settlement of disputes and the arbitration of
Section 2 of Article I of the contract provides that either
party desiring to amend, modify, or terminate the agreement must
notify the other party in writing at least 60 days in advance of
expiration of the contract; that whenever such notice is given,
the nature of desired changes is to be specified in the notice;
and that until agreement is reached in the matter of such
proposed changes, the original terms of the agreement shall
remain in full force and effect.
Section 3 of the same article provides that the contract shall
be subject to amendment "at any time by mutual consent of the
parties" thereto, and that any amendment agreed upon shall be
reduced to writing, signed by the parties, and approved by the
international office of the Union.
Section 4 of Article I reads as follows:
"The union and the company agree that there shall
be no strikes, boycotts, lock-outs, slow-downs,
curtailment of work or restriction of production by
employees during the life of this agreement and that
in the event differences or disputes should arise
between the company or union or should any local
trouble of any kind arise in the plant, there shall
be no suspension of work by employees on account of
such differences, but shall be processed as stated in
`Grievance Procedure' of this agreement."
Article III sets up a grievance procedure for the settling of
any differences which might arise between the Union and the
defendant "as to interpretation or meaning of any written
provision of this agreement." The procedure set up consists of a
series of four steps, the first three of which are to consist of
discussions and negotiations.
The fourth step is actually in two parts. If a grievance is not
settled within five days by means of discussions between
defendant's plant manager and the business agent of the Union,
the matter is referred to a Joint Conference Committee,
consisting of three representatives of the employer and three
representatives of the Union, and if that committee is unable to
reach an agreement, the grievance is to be submitted to the
Industrial Relations Council of the National Electrical
Contractors Association and of the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Works for arbitration, and the decision of the Council
shall be final and binding on both parties.
As stated, the contract was to become effective as of November
1, 1958. The agreement was actually signed on February 9, 1959.
It appears that at that time the parties were in a dispute as to
the wages to be paid to the different classes of workers
mentioned in the contract, and by a separate written agreement
the parties submitted the question of wage rates to the industry
council which has been mentioned for the purpose of arbitration.
That question was arbitrated by the council, and a schedule of
wages was fixed and put into effect, the award
being made retroactive to February 9, 1959.
Subsequently, the Union proposed certain changes in the
original contract, including substantial wage increases, and
requested the defendant to negotiate with respect thereto.
Negotiations not having resulted in an agreement, this suit was
filed to compel arbitration with respect to the amendments
desired by the Union.
There is now no question that under section 301(a) of the
Labor-Management Relations Act a provision for arbitration
contained in a collective bargaining agreement may be
specifically enforced by the federal courts provided that the
matter in dispute is an arbitrable issue under the contract.
Textile Workers Union of America v. Lincoln Mills of Alabama,
353 U.S. 448, 77 S.Ct. 912, 923, 1 L.Ed.2d 972; see also General
Electric Co. v. Local 205, United Electrical, Radio & Machine
Workers of America, 353 U.S. 547, 77 S.Ct. 921, 1 L.Ed.2d 1028;
Goodall-Sanford, Inc. v. United Textile Workers, 353 U.S. 550, 77
S.Ct. 920, 1 L.Ed.2d 1031. Since those decisions were handed
down, such specific performance has been granted at least twice
by federal courts sitting in Arkansas. Glass Bottle Blowers
Association of United States and Canada, AFL-CIO v. Arkansas
Glass Container Corporation, D.C.Ark., 183 F. Supp. 829;
International Union of Operating Engineers (AFL-CIO), Local No.
381 v. Monsanto Chemical Co., D.C.Ark., 164 F. Supp. 406.
Before ordering specific performance, however, the court is
required to ascertain whether the issues which the plaintiff
desires to submit to arbitration are arbitrable under the
collective bargaining agreement. United Steelworkers of America
v. Warrior & Gulf Navigation Co., 363 U.S. 574, 80 S.Ct. 1347, 4
L.Ed.2d 1409; United Steel Workers of America v. American
Manufacturing Co., 363 U.S. 564, 80 S.Ct. 1363, 4 L.Ed. 2d 1432;
Chauffeurs, Teamsters & Helpers Local Union No. 795 v. Yellow
Transit Freight Lines, 10 Cir., 282 F.2d 345; Brass and Copper
Workers Federal Labor Union No. 19322, AFL-CIO v. American Brass
Co., 7 Cir., 272 F.2d 849. International Tel. & Tel. Corporation
v. Local 400, Professional, Technical & Salaried Division,
Intern. Union of Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers, D.C.N.J.,
184 F. Supp. 866.
Article III of the contract with which the Court is concerned
here was obviously designed to cover ordinary employee grievances
which might be expected to arise during the life of the
agreement, and plaintiffs do not appear to contend that said
article itself makes the ...