ILNews

Dismissal of Navistar workers’ complaint upheld by 7th Circuit

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A group of unionized workers laid off by an Indianapolis engine plant who brought an action for breach of the collective-bargaining agreement didn’t provide enough factual content in their complaint to allow it to proceed in court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Forty-three plaintiffs brought the original action under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act after Navistar laid them off and did not rehire them as work became available. Instead, the company subcontracted their work to nonunion plants. Judge Sarah Evans Barker in the Southern District of Indiana dismissed the complaint because of a lack of factual content to plead a plausible claim for breach of the duty of fair representation.

A successful Section 301 claim requires a breach of contract by an employer and a breach by the plaintiff’s union of its duty of fair representation. This is required so that the plaintiff first seeks to address the complaint through the grievance process set up by the union.

The plaintiffs here allege that they filed grievances challenging Navistar’s subcontracting work, but the union intentionally failed to process the grievances in breach of its duty of fair representation. After the District Court dismissed the complaint, only 29 plaintiffs proceeded on appeal.

“The plaintiffs offer nothing to support their claim of bad faith apart from conclusory labels — that the unnamed union officials acted ‘invidiously’ when they failed to process the grievances, or simply that the union’s actions were ‘intentional, willful, wanton, and malicious.’ They supply no factual detail to support these conclusory allegations, such as (for example) offering facts that suggest a motive for the union’s alleged failure to deal with the grievances,” Judge Diane Sykes wrote in Robert Yeftich, et al. v. Navistar Inc. and Indianapolis Casting Corp., 12-2964.

“Nor do the plaintiffs offer plausible allegations of arbitrariness. The plaintiffs generally allege an arbitrary failure to act on their grievances … but factual detail in support of this otherwise conclusory allegation is entirely missing,” she continued.

Judge John D. Tinder recused himself and did not participate in the decision on appeal, which was resolved by a quorum of the panel, the opinion notes.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • COA
    The court of appeals not only tries to rewrite or interpret the law to suit their fancy, now they choose play stupid as well. Every consideration must be given to pro se litigants, who are not held to the same standards as attorneys, as stated by,SCOTUS. I assume they didn't have a lawyer, since one wasn't mentioned and I strongly suggest thatb the rest of the, origional petitioners get back in there and fight for their rights.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

ADVERTISEMENT