Monday, November 4, 2013
In Titan Tire Corp. v. United Steel Workers (Nov. 1, 2013), the Seventh Circuit held that an arbitration award requiring the company to honor a contract provision requiring the payment of the full-time union salaries of covered employees who took leave to hold local union office was void as against public policy because it required payments that violate LMRA § 302. Expressly disagreeing with the Third Circuit's decision in Caterpillar, Inv. v. UAW, 107 F.3d 1052 (3d Cir. 1997), the Seventh Circuit concluded that the level of compensation paid to the local officers under the terms of the collectively bargained union leave provision was so incommensurate with the officers' former employment at Titan as to not come within the 302(c)(1) for payments made "by reason of" former employment. Chief Judge Wood, joined by two other circuit judges, dissented from denial of rehearing en banc.
A copy of the decision is available to be downloaded by clicking Download Titan Tire v. United Steel Workers
This decision is 49 pages long and full of cites. Law review commentary on this important topic would be most welcome.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein