In, Cape Fear Public Transit Authority v. Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1328, the Wilmington transit authority is challenging a labor arbitration that was in favor of the Union, and which ordered a terminated employee be put back to work. This case is before Judge Boyle in federal court (EDNC). On behalf of the Union, Patterson Harkavy has filed the following brief, response brief, and reply brief. Mike Okun and Narendra Ghosh are representing the Union.
Here is a summary of the Union’s position:
First, plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed for failure to timely effect service because plaintiff did not properly serve defendant before the 120-day deadline elapsed, and had no good cause for its failure to do so. Second, plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed because plaintiff CFPTA was not a party to the arbitration decision that it seeks to vacate, has no standing to challenge the decision, and has provided no relevant authority to demonstrate that it is permitted to bring this suit under 28 U.S.C. § 185.
Third, plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed for failure to state a valid claim to vacate the arbitration decision. The arbitrator correctly determined that Professional Transit Management of Wilmington, Inc. (“PTM”) violated the controlling collective bargain agreement (“CBA”) in terminating the grievant, and to the extent there was ambiguity in the operative language of the CBA, the arbitrator’s interpretation cannot be disturbed by the Court. Under the standard enunciated by the Supreme Court, plaintiff has also failed to show how the arbitrator’s decision to reinstate the grievant violates any clearly established public policy. For all these reasons, the Court should award defendant its reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred in this litigation because plaintiff’s motion to vacate the arbitration award has no arguable basis in the law.