Unpublished Disposition, 902 F.2d 38 (9th Cir. 1990)

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US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - 902 F.2d 38 (9th Cir. 1990)

Robert L. CHAPMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.LOCKHEED-CALIFORNIA CO.andInternational Ass'n of Machinists and Aerospace Workers,Aeronautical Indus. Dist. Lodge 727, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 89-55132.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Argued and Submitted April 9, 1990.Decided May 2, 1990.

Before GOODWIN, Chief Judge, and TANG and BOOCHEVER, Circuit Judges.


Robert L. Chapman appeals pro se the district court's grant of summary judgment to Lockheed, Chapman's employer, and to International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ("the Union"), Chapman's union. Chapman filed grievances based on alleged violations of a collective bargaining agreement arising out of events that occurred in the first half of 1986. Generally, he contends that the Union failed to process his grievances according to the collective bargaining agreement and refused to inform him of the status of his grievances.

To withstand a motion for summary judgment, Chapman needed to present evidence that created a genuine issue whether the Union breached its duty of fair representation. "A union breaches this duty only when its 'conduct toward a member of the collective bargaining unit is arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith.' " Moore v. Bechtel Power Corp., 840 F.2d 634, 636 (9th Cir. 1988) (quoting Vaca v. Sipes, 386 U.S. 171, 190 (1967)). The district court found and it is not controverted that the Union investigated the grievances carefully and that no evidence showed that the Union's behavior was discriminatory or in bad faith.

Of Chapman's seven arguments, we discuss only the first, which we find the strongest. Chapman argues that even if the Union's conduct was not discriminatory or in bad faith, it was arbitrary. He contends that the Union failed procedurally in not holding required grievance meetings and in misleading him about its intentions so that he failed to accept settlement offers.

Chapman is correct that a union may breach its duty of fair representation by conduct that is neither discriminatory nor in bad faith. A union breaches its duty of fair representation if its procedural or ministerial failure is "in 'reckless disregard' of the employee's rights," Moore, 840 F.2d at 636 (citing Johnson v. United States Postal Serv., 756 F.2d 1461, 1465 (9th Cir. 1985)), and "prejudices a strong interest of the employee." Id. (citing Galindo v. Stoody Co., 793 F.2d 1502, 1514 (9th Cir. 1986)).

Chapman has failed to create a genuine issue of material fact regarding procedural failure, however, because he has not identified what meetings he believes were required, how he was misled, or what offers he rejected. His argument also fails because the injury that he claims is not of the same order as we require of a nondiscriminatory, good faith procedural failure in order to find a breach of the duty of fair representation. See Dutrisac v. Caterpillar Tractor Co., 749 F.2d 1270, 1274 (9th Cir. 1983) (union's failure to file grievance timely on behalf of discharged employee constituted breach of duty of fair representation where union's failure to perform this ministerial act completely extinguished employee's right to pursue his claim); see also Eichelberger v. N.L.R.B., 765 F.2d 851, 855 (9th Cir. 1985).



This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Cir.R. 36-3