Indep. Lab. Emp. Union, Inc. v. ExxonMobil Res. and Eng’g Co.

This labor dispute arose when a bargaining unit member retired. After advertising internally failed to fill the position, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (“EMRE”) contracted independent contractors to staff the position. Shortly after that, Indep. Lab. Emp. Union, Inc. filed a grievance regarding the propriety of EMRE contracting out bargaining unit positions in this way. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the Union. EMRE sought review in the District Court, which upheld the arbitrator’s award. EMRE appealed, arguing that the award should be vacated because the arbitrator overstepped her role by improperly considering extrinsic evidence contrary to the governing collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”). The Third Circuit affirmed, noting the standard of review for upholding arbitration awards is highly deferential. The Third Circuit held that in a “well-reasoned decision”, the arbitration award resolving the dispute drew its essence from the CBA and the controlling “law of the shop”, including past arbitration awards.

INDEPENDENT-LABORATORY-EMPLOYEES-UNION