Thursday, January 28, 2010
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in Granite Rock v Int'l B'hood of Teamsters (Dkt No 08-1214): Does a federal court have jurisdiction to determine the existence of a bargaining agreement where there is a dispute as to whether a contract was actually formed? Alternatively, should the issue of contract formation go to an arbitrator, pursuant to the putative contract's arbitration clause? Also at issue is whether the Labor Management Relations Act provides a cause of action for tortious interference with contract against an international union that is not a signatory to the bargaining agreement, but effectively displaces the signatory local union and causes a strike. In the decision below, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court order denying a union's motion to compel arbitration on the question of whether a contract was formed. The appeals court also affirmed dismissal of the employer's LMRA claim against the international union.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein