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Vectrus Systems Corp. v. Teamsters Local 631

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 25, 2019

VECTRUS SYSTEMS CORPORATION, Plaintiff(s),
v.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 631, Defendant(s).

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant Teamsters Local 631's (“Teamsters”) motion for judgment on the pleadings. (ECF No. 15). Plaintiff Vectrus Systems Corp. (“Vectrus”) filed a response (ECF No. 18), to which Teamsters replied (ECF No. 20).

         Also before the court is Vectrus' motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 19). Teamsters filed a response (ECF No. 21), to which Vectrus replied (ECF No. 22).

         I. Facts

         Vectrus initiated this action seeking to vacate Arbitrator Barry Winograd's April 27, 2018, opinion and award in an arbitration between Vectrus and Teamsters. (ECF No. 1).

         Teamsters is a labor organization that represents employees providing base operations services at Creech Air Force Base and the Nevada Test and Training Range, both of which are located North of Las Vegas. (ECF Nos. 1, 8). On October 1, 2013, the prime government contractor for employees involved in base operations, PAE, entered into a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) with Teamsters. (ECF Nos. 1, 1-2, 8). The contract provided that the CBA would expire on September 30, 2017. Id.

         In the summer of 2017, URS Federal Services, Inc. (“URS”) discovered that it would replace PAE on October 25, 2017. (ECF Nos. 1, 8). URS retained Vectrus to provide employment services in furtherance of base operations. Id. At roughly the same time, PAE and its subcontractors executed an agreement with Teamsters extending the CBA until September 30, 2018. Id.

         On September 26, 2017, URS and Vectrus executed a bridge agreement with Teamsters providing that URS and Vectrus “agree to accept all the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA)[.]” (ECF No. 1-3). The bridge agreement further provides that the contract “will become effective October 25, 2017.” Id. The bridge agreement does not contain arbitration or dispute resolution provisions. Id.

         On the same day that URS and Vectrus entered into the bridge agreement, Vectrus extended offers of employment to some but not all the employees of C. Martin-the subcontractor that Vectrus replaced. (ECF Nos. 1-1, 8, 10). On October 13, 2017, Teamsters filed a grievance alleging that Vectrus breached the CBA by failing to terminate C. Martin's employees based on seniority or just cause. (ECF Nos. 1, 1-1, 8).

         On February 13, 2018, Vectrus and Teamsters held an arbitration hearing at which Vectrus objected to Arbitrator Winograd's authority to arbitrate Teamsters' grievance regarding Vectrus' hiring practices prior to October 25, 2017. (ECF No. 8). On April 27, 2018, the arbitrator held that it had authority to arbitrate the grievance because the CBA was of a continuing nature and the bridge agreement bound Vectrus to the terms of the CBA, including all hiring practices in anticipation of the October 25, 2017, takeover. Id. The arbitrator also held that Vectrus violated article 28, section 3 of the CBA by not reducing the workforce based on seniority or just cause and ordered Vectrus to reinstate employees in seniority order. Id.

         On July 23, 2018, Vectrus filed a complaint petitioning to vacate the arbitration award. (ECF No. 1). Now, Teamsters moves for judgment on the pleadings and Vectrus moves for summary judgment. (ECF Nos. 15, 19).

         II. Legal Standard

         a. Judgment on the pleadings

         “After the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Motions for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) are “functionally identical” to motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir. 1989).

         In reviewing a motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c), the court “must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.” Fleming v. Pickard,581 F.3d 922, 925 (9th Cir. 2009). “[J]udgment on the pleadings is proper ‘when, taking all the allegations in the non-moving party's pleadings as true, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'” Ventress v. Japan Airlines,486 F.3d 1111, 1114 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). The allegations of the nonmoving party must be accepted as true while any ...


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