Case Study – Standard Concrete Products, Inc. vs. Teamsters Local 952

Case Study – Standard Concrete Products, Inc. vs. Teamsters Local 952

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Read the Standard Concrete Products, Inc. vs. Teamsters Local 952 Case Study and answer the following questions:

Provide a two paragraph summary of the case
Define a “sympathy strike?” How does it apply to this case study?
Does a general no-strike clause that does not reference “sympathy strikes” constitute a waiver of the right to participate in a sympathy strike? Why or Why not?

STANDARD CONCRETE PRODUCTS INC., Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

GENERAL TRUCK DRIVERS, OFFICE, FOOD AND WAREHOUSE UNION, LOCAL 952,

Defendant-Appellant.

Standard Concrete Products Inc., Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

General Truck Drivers, Office, Food and Warehouse Union, Local 952, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 01-57256.

No. 01-57257.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Argued and Submitted April 8, 2003 — Pasadena, California.

Filed December 18, 2003.

Howard C. Hay, (argued and brief) and Glenn L. Briggs (brief), Paul, Hastings, Janofsky &

Walker, LLP, Costa Mesa, California, CA, for the plaintiff/appellee/appellant.

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Central District of California; Alicemarie

H. Stotler, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-00-00016-AHS.

Before Harry PREGERSON, A. Wallace TASHIMA, and Richard R. CLIFTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

PREGERSON, Circuit Judge:

1

Plaintiff Standard Concrete Products (“Standard Concrete”) delivers concrete throughout

Southern California. Relevant to this appeal, Standard Concrete has facilities in Riverside

County and in Orange County. The International Brotherhood of the Teamsters, General Truck

Drivers, Office, Food & Warehouse Union, Local 952 represents Standard Concrete’s employees

at its Corona facility in Riverside County (“Corona bargaining unit”). Local 952 also represents

Standard Concrete’s employees at its three Orange County facilities (“Orange County bargaining

unit”) under a separate collective bargaining agreement.

2

In January 2000, the Corona bargaining unit went on strike against Standard Concrete. The strike

was called because the Corona bargaining unit believed that Standard Concrete was negotiating

with Local 952 in bad faith. Members of the Corona bargaining unit established picket lines at

the Corona facility. On the second day of the strike, the Corona bargaining unit extended its

picket lines to Standard Concrete’s three facilities in Orange County. Members of the Orange

County bargaining unit honored the Corona bargaining unit’s picket lines.

3

At issue in this case is whether the Orange County bargaining unit violated its Collective

Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) with Standard Concrete when members of the Orange County

bargaining unit honored the Corona bargaining unit’s picket lines at the Standard Concrete

facilities in Orange County. On January 6, 2000, Standard Concrete filed a complaint against

Local 952 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The complaint

alleged that Local 952 breached the no-strike clause in the Orange County CBA by participating

in and encouraging the Orange County bargaining unit members to honor the Corona bargaining

unit’s picket lines. On April 27, 2000, Local 952 filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing

that Standard Concrete violated the Orange County CBA by failing to submit the dispute to

arbitration. Standard Concrete opposed Local 952’s motion to dismiss and in addition filed a

motion seeking summary judgment against Local 952.

4

The district court denied Local 952’s motion to dismiss and held that the Orange County CBA

did not require Standard Concrete to arbitrate its dispute with Local 952. In addition, the district

court granted Standard Concrete’s motion for summary judgment, holding that Local 952

violated the Orange County CBA when the members of the Orange County bargaining unit

participated in a sympathy strike and refused to cross the Corona bargaining unit’s picket line.

The district court then held a bench trial on the issue of Standard Concrete’s damages. After a

three day trial, the district court awarded Standard Concrete $802,327.00 damages plus costs.

5

On appeal, Local 952 challenges the district court’s summary judgment order that Local 952 and

the members of the Orange County bargaining unit violated its CBA with Standard Concrete by

honoring the Corona bargaining unit’s picket line. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

1. Primary Dispute

6

For approximately twenty years, Local 952 has represented the employees at the Standard

Concrete plant in Corona, California. On October 31, 1999, Standard Concrete withdrew its

recognition of Local 952 as the collective bargaining representative of the Corona unit’s

employees, and refused to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with Local 952.

Local 952 filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that Standard Concrete

unlawfully withdrew recognition of Local 952 as the representative of the Corona unit’s

employees. In addition, Local 952 filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board

seeking an election to establish its representation of the Corona employees.

7

A month later, Local 952 won a new NLRB-conducted election to represent Standard Concrete’s

employees at the Corona facility. On December 10, 1999, the National Labor Relations Board

certified Local 952 as the collective bargaining representative of the Corona facility’s employees.

After Local 952 was recertified, the Corona bargaining unit and Standard Concrete began

negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement.

8

After several negotiating sessions, Local 952 determined that Standard Concrete was negotiating

in bad faith. Thus, on January 5, 2000, Local 952’s Corona bargaining unit went on strike to

compel Standard Concrete to negotiate in good faith. The Corona bargaining unit set up picket

lines at Standard Concrete’s Corona facility and at Standard Concrete’s job sites in Riverside

County.

9

On January 6, 2000 and January 7, 2000, the Corona bargaining unit extended its picket lines to

three of Standard Concrete’s facilities in Orange County: El Toro, Santa Ana, and Westminster.

Local 952 also represents the workers at all three Standard Concrete Orange County facilities

under the Orange County CBA.

10

Members of the Orange County bargaining unit at all three Orange County facilities honored the

Corona bargaining unit’s picket line at Standard Concrete’s Orange County facilities. Acting in

solidarity with the Corona bargaining unit, the Orange County bar

Case Study – Standard Concrete Products, Inc. vs. Teamsters Local 952

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