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Philadelphia Marine Trade Association v. International Longshoremen's Association

decided: August 11, 1966.

PHILADELPHIA MARINE TRADE ASSOCIATION, PLAINTIFF
v.
INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN'S ASSOCIATION, LOCAL 1291, DEFENDANT



McLaughlin, Hastie, and Freedman, Circuit Judges.

Author: Mclaughlin

McLAUGHLIN, C. J.

In this action to enforce an arbitration award under a labor management contract, the trial Court ordered enforcement and the defendant union appeals.

The plaintiff association is a nonprofit organization comprised of steamship owners, operators, stevedores and the like in the port of Philadelphia. The union is the bargaining agent of the Philadelphia deep sea longshoremen. The bargaining agreement, dated February 11, 1965, applied retroactively from October 1, 1964 and expires September 30, 1968. On April 26, 1965, there was a dispute between the association and the union over the meaning of Section 10, sub. par. 6 of the agreement. The general caption of Section 10 is "Hiring System". Subparagraph (6) reads:

"(6) Gangs ordered for an 8 AM start Monday through Friday can be set back at 7:30 AM on the day of work to commence at 1 PM at which time a four hour guarantee shall apply. A one hour guarantee shall apply for the morning period unless employed during the morning period."

The matter was correctly referred to an arbitrator, Milton M. Weiss, Esq. There were three hearings, April 30, 1965, May 3, 1965 and May 5, 1965. At the start of the first hearing the Arbitrator stated:

"This hearing that we are conducting today, relating to interpretations of a clause of your new contract, from what I understand, between the parties, it has been agreed that it would be carried on in accordance with the usual procedures of The American Arbitration Association. Being a member of that panel, and having conducted hearings along these lines, I will proceed in the same fashion as we do in those cases."

He then said:

"I think maybe there are a couple of things I would like to say. I think all of us would like, perhaps, to resolve right in the beginning that it is understood between the parties that the determination made by the Arbitrator in this case will be final and binding."

To this Mr. Freedman, counsel for the Union, answered, "That is our understanding. As a matter of fact, that is the understanding of the agreement." Mr. Scanlan, counsel for the association, answered: "Yes. In accordance with the contract."

A thorough, well reasoned decision was filed by the Arbitrator June 11, 1965. In that opinion the Arbitrator properly stated the "Issue Involved" as follows:

"Whether the provisions in the Memorandum of Settlement referred to above, i.e. Section 10, subparagraphs 5 and 6, are to be considered together so that the Employer's right to set back a gang from 8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. is conditioned solely upon the nonarrival of a vessel in port, or is the Employer's right under Section 10, subparagraph 6 to set back a gang without qualification?"

The Arbitrator ruled:

"It is the Arbitrator's opinion that this Section 10(6) of the Memorandum of Settlement dated February 11, 1965 is clear and unequivocal and should not be given meaning other than expressed. If the Arbitrator were to read into Section 10(6) the limitation urged on him by the Union, i.e. applicable only in case of non-arrival of a vesel in port, he would in effect be writing into the Memorandum of Settlement something which is not there. The Arbitrator has carefully reviewed the testimony as well as exhibits relating to the negotiations between the parties which resulted in their final agreement. It is quite obvious that the document finally agreed upon was the subject of much discussion and negotiation, and both parties had ample opportunity to modify and change these provisions before the final instrument was drawn. A review of the negotiations set forth above relating to Section 10(5) and 10(6) indicates clearly that there was much discussion and negotiation before the final draft which was contained in the Memorandum of Settlement dated February 11, 1965."

In making his Award, the Arbitrator held:

"The contention of the Employer, the Philadelphia Marine Trade Association, is hereby sustained and it is the Arbitrator's determination that Section 10(6) of the Memorandum of Settlement dated February 11, 1965, providing gangs 'ordered for an 8 AM start Monday through Friday can be set back at 7:30 AM on the day of work to commence at 1 PM, at which time a 4 hour guarantee shall apply. A 1 hour guarantee shall apply for the ...


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