United States District Court, D. Nebraska
UNITED FOOD & COMMERCIAL WORKERS' UNION, LOCAL NO. 293, Plaintiff,
NOAH'S ARK PROCESSORS, LLC, Defendant.
F. Rossiter, Jr. United States District Judge
matter is before the Court following its review of separate
submissions by defendant Noah's Ark Processors, LLC
(“Noah's Ark”) (Filing No. 65) and plaintiff
United Food & Commercial Workers' Union, Local No.
293 (“union”) (Filing No. 66). Those submissions
were in response to this Court's Order of December 12,
2019, (“Scheduling Order”) (Filing No. 64) which
required - among other things - the following:
1. The parties and their respective counsel shall meet and
confer to develop a specific schedule to resume union
orientation sessions for new hires and to conduct make-up
sessions for existing employees as required by the
arbitration award and this Court's prior orders.
2. The parties shall submit a joint schedule to the Court no
later than 6:00 p.m. on December 18, 2019, which schedule
shall include the time and location of at least one
orientation session every other week for the next ten months.
3. Every employee scheduled to attend an orientation session
must present themselves for the session but may voluntarily
opt-out of attending the session and confirm that decision in
writing on a form jointly developed by the parties and
maintained by the union.
matter, which has been pending since October 3, 2018, the
union sought confirmation of a favorable arbitration award
dated June 25, 2018. The arbitrator found that Noah's Ark
unilaterally and wrongfully discontinued the union
orientation sessions that are set forth in the collective
bargaining agreement and had been a matter of long-past
practice. The Court confirmed that arbitration award on
January 28, 2019. Since that time the parties (primarily
Noah's Ark) have done little or nothing to comply with
the simple and straight-forward arbitration award. The
parties have engaged in petty squabbling over small details,
and Noah's Ark has virtually ignored the provisions of
the arbitration award and related provisions of the
collective bargaining agreement.
response to repeated requests for sanctions from the union,
this Court has been patient with the parties but has
indicated its unwillingness to become involved in day-today
union-management squabbles. Sanctions have been threatened
but (to this point) have not been ordered in this matter.
Court required all parties to be present for a hearing held
on December 12, 2019, in the wake of yet another motion for
an order to show cause by the union. The parties timely
responded to this Court's Scheduling Order and have
apparently agreed to the dates, times and location of the
bi-weekly orientation sessions. Incredibly, the parties have
not been able to agree upon the number of employees who will
be scheduled to attend each of these thirty-minute
orientation sessions. Apparently, the union urged, due to the
backlog, that twenty-five employees be scheduled per session.
Noah's Ark disagreed, insisting only ten employees be
present per session.
of the parties' abject failure to reach an agreement on
this simple issue, the Court orders that twenty-five
employees be scheduled per session.
addition, although the union has presented a proposed opt-out
form in conformance with paragraph 5 of the Scheduling Order,
that form was apparently not agreed to by Noah's Ark, nor
was any other form proposed by Noah's Ark. The form
presented by the union will be utilized by the parties in
accordance with paragraph 5 of the Scheduling Order.
Court notes that any further gamesmanship or flouting of the
arbitrator's decision or this Court's orders by
Noah's Ark will be met with substantial sanctions,
including but not limited to attorney fees, costs and the
possibility of daily fines.
the union is expected to act professionally in its dealing
with Noah's Ark relating to these meetings. A failure to
do so on its part will also be met with possible sanctions.
clear at the December 12, 2019, hearing, the Court should not
have to be involved in daily operations at this plant.
However, over a year of the parties' bickering and
foot-dragging in this matter leaves ...