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Philadelphia Metal Trades Council v. Federal Labor Relations Authority

filed: May 5, 1992.

PHILADELPHIA METAL TRADES COUNCIL C/O PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIPYARD BUILDING 637 PHILADELPHIA, PA 19112 PETITIONER
v.
FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY 500 C STREET WASHINGTON, D.C. 20424 RESPONDENT



On Petition for Review of a Decision of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. (FLRA DOCKET NO. 0-AR-2079)

Before: Becker, Roth, Circuit Judges and McCUNE, District Judge*fn*

Author: Roth

Opinion OF THE COURT

ROTH, Circuit Judge.

Petitioner, Philadelphia Metal Trades Council (Union), seeks review of a decision issued by Respondent, Federal Labor Relations Authority (Authority), setting aside an arbitrator's award of attorney's fees to the Union. The Authority has moved to dismiss the petition, on the ground that this court does not have jurisdiction to review its decision. This case requires that we determine the extent of our jurisdiction under the Federal Labor-Management Relations Act (LMRA), 5 U.S.C. § 7101 et seq., and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., to review a ruling of the Authority on exceptions made to an arbitrator's decision. For the reasons stated below we agree with the Authority that we do not have jurisdiction to review its decision in this case.

I.

This proceeding was initiated when the Union filed a request for arbitration on behalf of one of its members (the grievant) who was injured on the job. The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard had suspended the grievant for five days, on the ground that the injury was caused by his negligence. Based on the evidence presented, the arbitrator found that, although the grievant had contributed to his injury to some extent, a five-day suspension was improper. Consequently the arbitrator reduced the suspension to two days and awarded the grievant lost wages attributable to the reduction in the suspension.

The Union next filed a motion for attorney's fees under the Back Pay Act, 5 U.S.C. § 5596(b) (1988). Noting that the Shipyard did not respond to this motion, the arbitrator issued a cursory order awarding the fees requested. The Union has acknowledged that the arbitrator provided no rationale to support the award. The Shipyard then filed exceptions with the Authority, alleging that an award of attorney's fees was contrary to the Back Pay Act as a result of the arbitrator's failure to address each pertinent statutory requirement and to articulate fully the specific findings supporting the award. Agreeing with the Shipyard, the Authority found that the arbitrator did not provide the requisite support for the attorney's fees award and set aside the award as contrary to the Back Pay Act.*fn1 The Union now petitions this court for review under Section 702 of the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 702 (1988), and Section 7123 of the LMRA, 5 U.S.C. § 7123 (1988), of the Authority's decision setting aside the attorney's fee.

II.

Jurisdiction to review final Authority decisions pursuant to the LMRA is set forth in 5 U.S.C. § 7123(a). Under this provision:

(a) Any person aggrieved by any final order of the Authority other than an order under--

(1) section 7122 of this title (involving an award by an arbitrator), unless the order involves an unfair labor practice under section 711 [ 6 ] of this title,

may, during the 60-day period beginning on the date on which the order was issued, institute an action for judicial review of the Authority's order in ...


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