Yeftich v. Navistar, Inc., No. 12-2964 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Union members, working at Navistar’s Indianapolis engine-manufacturing plant, were represented by a union and were subject to a collective-bargaining agreement. They claim that on unidentified dates they were laid off, ostensibly for lack of work, but that Navistar actually subcontracted their work to nonunion plants in violation of the CBA and that Navistar failed to recall them as work became available. They claim to have filed hundreds of grievances that were diverted or stalled. In 2009, Navistar closed the Indianapolis plant. The union members sued. When union members sue their employer for breach of contract under the Labor Management Relations Act, 28 U.S.C. 185, they must also claim breach of their union’s duty of fair representation. The district court dismissed, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to adequately plead the prerequisite union breach of fair representation. A separate interference-with-benefits claim under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. 1001, was resolved by summary judgment in favor of Navistar. The 29 remaining plaintiffs appealed only the LMRA claim. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, stating that all of the allegations concerning the duty of fair representation were conclusory, so that the complaint lacked the required factual content.