NLRB’s 10(k) Award Trumps Conflicting Arbitration Award
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (IL, IN, WI) has affirmed a district court decision vacating its earlier ruling enforcing an arbitration award finding that a contractor breached a collective bargaining agreement by assigning certain work to the Iron Workers rather than the Bricklayers.
The district court vacated the ruling because, when it issued the original decision, it was unaware that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a conflicting decision in a 10(k) proceeding involving the same parties four days earlier. Unlike the arbitration board, the NLRB found that the contractor was not bound to any collective bargaining agreement requiring it to hire Iron Workers and, therefore, properly assigned the work in question to the Bricklayers. The district court vacated its enforcement of the arbitration award based on other cases in the Seventh Circuit holding that an NLRB decision in a 10(k) proceeding takes precedence over a conflicting arbitration award.For more information on the case, see Human Resource & Labor News, Issue Nos. 10-02 and 6-03.
The circuit court agreed that the 10(k) determination trumps the arbitration award. The court noted that the case at hand is distinguishable from cases involving a 10(k) determination that is inconsistent with an arbitration award finding a subcontracting clause violation. Those cases do not involve a direct conflict between the arbitrator’s award and the NLRB’s award, so they do not implicate the general principle that a 10(k) determination overrides an arbitrator’s award.
Advance Case Stone Co. v. Bridge, Structural, & Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 1, Case Nos. 03-3090, 03-3104 (7th Cir., 7/22/04).
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