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Laborers'local Union No. 472 & 172 v. Dm Fernandes Contracts, LLC

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 27, 2015

LABORERS' LOCAL UNION NO. 472 & 172, et al.
v.
DM FERNANDES CONTRACTS, LLC., Respondent. Petitioners,

OPINION

KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.

Before the Court is a motion to confirm an arbitration award. Although the relevant portions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement were not originally attached to the confirmation petition, they have now been supplied. I find a sufficient basis to confirm the arbitrator's decision.

Background

Laborers' Local Union Nos. 172 and 472 are unions representing construction workers. According to the Petitioners, a construction company, Respondent DM Fernandes Contracts, LLC., agreed to be bound by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement with the Unions. (O'Hare Affidavit, ¶ 4) Under the terms of that agreement, DM Fernandes was required to make contributions to three funds that provide "fringe benefits" to union members: the Welfare Fund; the Pension Fund; and the Safety, Education, and Training Fund. The union alleges that DM Fernandes failed to make the required contributions during the period November 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014. (Award, [1] ¶ 1)

The unions, along with the fringe benefit funds themselves and their law firm (which is one of the Petitioners) (collectively, the "Funds") brought suit against DM Fernandes in an arbitration proceeding. DM Fernandes did not appear or otherwise defend itself before the arbitrator. ( See Award, 1) ("the Employer having failed to appear after due notice..."). DM Fernandes likewise has not appeared or otherwise defended the case before this Court.

The arbitrator, J.J. Pierson, issued an "Arbitration Award and Order." Pierson found that DM Fernandes was bound by the CBA and was delinquent in making some $19, 883.33 in fringe benefit contributions for the period November 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014. (Award, ¶ 1) Pierson ordered several forms of relief:

1) That DM Fernandes pay to the Funds the $19, 883.33 in delinquent contributions, plus interest at the rate of 8% per annum. (Award, ¶ 1)
2) That DM Fernandes pay attorneys' fees at the rate of 20% of the delinquent contributions, plus interest at the rate of 10% per annum. (Award, ¶ 2)
3) That in addition to those attorneys' fees, should the attorneys expend any effort to collect the funds after the entry of any court judgment, DM Fernandes should pay as attorneys' fees an additional 10% of the total amount due to the Funds. (Award, ¶ 9)
4) That DM Fernandes submit to an audit of its payroll records. (Award, ¶ 3)
5) That DM Fernandes pay the arbitrator's fee of $1, 000.00. (Award, ¶ 4)

The Funds have petitioned this Court (Dkt. No. 2) to confirm the arbitrator's award.

Discussion

Legal ...


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