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Young v. Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co.

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT


March 7, 1985

JOHN L. YOUNG AND JOHN C. GILDEA, APPELLANTS
v.
THE GREAT ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC TEA COMPANY, INC., APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Author: Weis

MEMORANDUM OPINION OF THE COURT

Before: ADAMS, WEIS and WISDOM,*fn* Circuit Judges.

WEIS, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiffs were employed at the Altoona Division Warehouse of the defendant until September 25, 1982, a short time before the facility closed. In their complaint, plaintiffs allege that they did not receive accrued vacation pay which was due on their termination. Plaintiffs did not file a grievance with the company or the union.

The district court determined that the dispute was within the grievance provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, and that plaintiffs, having failed to exhaust those procedures, were barred from proceeding in court. The district court concluded that since the present case had not been filed until February 21, 1984, the six month statute of limitations had run, DelCostello v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 462 U.S. 151 (1983).

Plaintiffs contend that their dispute was not within the grievance provisions of the labor contract because the controversy did not arise "during" the existence of that agreement. We reject that contention. By its terms, the collective bargaining agreement was in effect until October 15, 1983. Moreover, grievance procedures set out in a collective bargaining agreement may extend beyond its termination. Nolde Brothers, Inc. v. Local No. 358, Bakery & Confectionery Workers Union, 430 U.S. 243 (1977).

We are also persuaded that the federal labor policy of broad and liberal interpretation of arbitration clauses requires that we hold the dispute here comes within the grievance procedures of the labor contract.

Accordingly, the judgment of the district court will be affirmed.


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