January 13, 2016
from United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri - Kansas City.
Silgan Containers Corporation, Plaintiff - Appellee: Raymond
M. Deeny, SHERMAN & HOWARD, Colorado Springs, CO; Matthew M.
Morrison, SHERMAN & HOWARD, Denver, CO.
Sheet Metal Workers International Association, Local Union
No. 2, Defendant - Appellant: Donald Aubry, STEVE A.J.
BUKATY, CHARTERED, Kansas City, MO.
MURPHY, SMITH, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
BENTON, Circuit Judge.
Metal Containers Manufacturing Corporation sued Sheet Metal
Workers Local No. 2, challenging an arbitration award. The
district court granted summary judgment to Silgan. The Union
appealed. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291,
this court affirms in part, reverses in part, and remands.
2012, Silgan and the Union began negotiating changes to the
collective-bargaining agreement. Article 36 of the agreement
outlines a pension-contribution program. In the previous
agreement, Article 36 required Silgan to pay $1.98 to an
employee's pension account for each hour worked, up to
2,000 hours. During negotiations, Silgan and the Union
discussed converting the pension program into a company-wide
401(k) and increasing Silgan's contribution to $2.00 per
hour. They did not discuss the 2000-hour cap.
2, 2012, the Union proposed significant revisions to Article
36, omitting the 2000-hour cap. Later that day, Silgan
returned the proposal, with some changes, but still without
the cap. After receiving Silgan's draft, the Union
negotiator asked Silgan's negotiator to explain how
Article 36 would work. Silgan's negotiator said, it would
" work like it had always worked in the past." The
Union's negotiators then decided " to not
mention" the removal of the 2000-hour cap. On May 23,
Silgan sent its final and best offer, without the 2000-hour
cap. The Union sent this version to its members for
ratification, after which Silgan and the Union proofread the
draft. On June 13, Silgan's negotiator requested several
edits, again without mentioning the cap. In the final
agreement, Silgan contributes $2.00 per hour worked.
Union pursued a grievance to arbitration, seeking to enforce
Article 36 as written--without a 2000-hour cap. Silgan argued
that it did not agree to contribute for hours worked above
2,000 per year, alleging theories of fraud-in-the-inducement,
unilateral mistake, and mutual mistake. It also challenged
the arbitrator's authority to hear the dispute. Siding
with the Union, the arbitrator directed Silgan to make
pension contributions for each hour worked. Silgan sued to
vacate the award and for a ...