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International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 Employee Benefit Funds v. Altura Concrete Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 30, 2015

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL 825 EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUNDS AND THE TRUSTEES THEREOF, Petitioner,
v.
ALTURA CONCRETE INC., Respondent.

OPINION

KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.

Before the Court is the petitioner's unopposed motion to confirm an arbitration award in favor of a labor union. I will confirm the award.

I. BACKGROUND

The petitioner in this case, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 Employee Benefit Funds and the Trustees Thereof (the "Fund") is an employee benefit fund affiliated with a labor union. The Fund alleges that the Respondent, Altura Concrete Inc. ("Altura"), entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the labor union. Pursuant to that agreement, Altura was obligated to make contributions to the Fund on behalf of its unionized employees. According to the Fund, Altura was delinquent in making those contributions during the period from January 1, 2014 through January 31, 2014. (Default Award of Arbitrator ("Arb. Award"), Ex. C., Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award ("Petition"), Dkt. No. 1-3)

The Fund initiated arbitration proceedings against Altura to recover the delinquent funds. Hearings were held on April 1, 2014 and May 19, 2014. The record indicates that Altura did not appear before the arbitrator to defend itself at either hearing. ( Id. at 2, 4)

The arbitrator found that Altura was bound by its collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") with the Fund and that it failed to make the benefit contributions required by that agreement during the period from January 1, 2014 through January 31, 2104. ( Id. at 4) After the April 1, 2014 hearing, the arbitrator awarded the following relief:

• Produce a surety bond for delinquent benefits in the amount of $25, 000 ( Id. at 3)
• Pay liquidated damages of $5, 000 (20% of the surety bond) ( Id. )
• Pay attorneys' fees and costs of $442.40 ( Id. )
• Pay an arbitrator's fee of $800 ( Id. )

After the May 19, 2014 hearing, the arbitrator also awarded additional relief:

• Pay attorneys' fees and costs of $442.40 ( Id. at 5)
• Pay an arbitrator's fee of $800 ( Id. )

In sum, the arbitrator ordered Altura to post a $25, 000 bond for delinquent benefits and ...


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