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NEWARK STEREOTYPERS' UNION 18 v. NEWARK MORNING LE

December 19, 1966

Newark Stereotypers' Union No. 18, Plaintiff
v.
Newark Morning Ledger Company et al., Defendants


Wortendyke, D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WORTENDYKE

This is an action upon cross-motions; the defendants moving for an Order confirming the arbitration award, the plaintiff moving for an Order vacating the award.

 Plaintiff Labor Union (hereinafter Union), predicating jurisdiction on Section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. ยง 185, filed its Complaint in this Court seeking a judgment against defendant-employer (hereinafter Ledger) to compel arbitration of the question of the number of employees who should be assigned to the operation of a stereotype plate-casting (M.A.N.) machine which was being installed by the Ledger in its newspaper printing plant in Newark, New Jersey. A Collective Bargaining Agreement (hereinafter Agreement) between the Union and defendant Newark Newspaper Publishers Association, acting on behalf of the Ledger, was in effect at all pertinent times hereinafter referred to. The Agreement governed conditions of employment of members of the Union by the Ledger. Section 26 of the Agreement provides as follows:

 
" Section 26
 
A Joint Standing Committee, should necessity arise, shall be formed, two to be appointed by the Publishers and two by the Union and the four so appointed, if unable to agree, shall select a fifth member who shall act as chairman. This Committee shall interpret any of the terms or conditions of this contract, should controversy arise concerning them, and shall have complete jurisdiction to adjudicate finally any and all disputes, including discharge cases, which are alleged to involve the interests of either party as defined in this contract. Under all circumstances work in the stereotyping room of the Publishers shall be continued without interference or interruption in a regular and orderly manner until all differences under the contract are settled by conciliation or arbitration. All majority decisions of the Standing Committee shall be final and binding upon both parties."

 The Complaint alleged that in June, 1965, a question arose between the Union and the defendants regarding the number of men to be assigned to the M.A.N. machine. Each party to the Agreement appointed its representatives in accordance with Section 26, but the appointees of the parties were unable to resolve their disagreement respecting the manning of the machine, and they were also unable to agree upon an impartial chairman for the Joint Standing Committee (hereinafter Committee). Because of the inability of the parties to agree upon an arbitrator to act as Chairman of the Committee, and the absence of any provision in the Agreement dispositive of the consequent impasse, this Court was requested by the parties to designate and appoint such an arbitrator in order to effectuate the arbitration clause in the Agreement. The cause having come duly to issue upon the Amended Complaint and Answer thereto, summary judgment for the Union was entered by this Court's Order of December 23, 1965. That Order provided: (1) that the dispute as to the number of journeymen stereotypers who should be assigned to the operation of the M.A.N. machine was arbitrable under the Agreement; (2) that the Honorable Harry Heher (a retired Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court) be designated as Chairman of the Committee provided for in Section 26 of the Agreement; (3) that the parties proceed to arbitrate their dispute before the Committee; and (4) that the fee and expense of the Chairman of the Committee be borne equally by plaintiff and defendants. The Court retained jurisdiction of the cause to enable either party to apply for such other or further relief as might be necessary and proper.

 The parties proceeded with the arbitration as ordered. On June 30, 1966, the Committee filed with the Clerk of this Court, a written "Decision and Determination of Dispute" signed and concurred in by a majority of the Committee upon written Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and the evidentiary record of proceedings before it which constituted the arbitration award upon the dispute submitted by the parties. That award is as follows:

 
"Upon the foregoing findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the entire record in this proceeding, the Joint Standing Committee makes the following resolution of the Dispute, and the Arbitration Award:
 
(1) The Star-Ledger Company has determined to use only one journeyman stereotyper in the operation of its M.A.N. Machine; and this determination is pursuant to the Star-Ledger's management prerogative,
 
(2) The Star-Ledger's Contract with the Union does not bar this determination;
 
(3) The Star-Ledger's shop practice does not bar this determination;
 
(4) The industry practice does not bar this determination;
 
(5) This determination is not in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but is in full accord with the essence of the provisions;
 
(6) One-man operation of the given M.A.N. Machine is safe, efficient and not unduly burdensome on the single ...

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