Brock Industrial Services, LLC v. Laborers' International Union of North America Construction & General Laborers Local 100, No. 17-2688 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The labor agreement between Brock, a provider of industrial services, including scaffolding, painting, and shoring, and the Laborers Union requires arbitration of grievances and establishes a bipartite arbitration procedure for resolving most disputes. Work-jurisdiction disputes—disputes over whether the Laborers or another union is entitled to perform work—are instead subject to a tripartite arbitration procedure involving the company and the contending unions. Before signing the agreement, Brock hired the Laborers to perform scaffolding work at a chemical plant. After the agreement became effective, Brock informed the Laborers that it was reassigning the work to the Carpenters Union. Invoking the bipartite arbitration procedure, the Laborers filed a grievance with the Grievance Review Subcommittee of the National Maintenance Agreement Policy Committee. Brock responded that the Subcommittee lacked authority to arbitrate the matter. The Subcommittee disagreed and sustained the grievance and filed suit under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 185. The district judge determined that the Subcommittee had authority and issued an order enforcing the decision. The Seventh Circuit reversed. The grievance concerns which of two unions was entitled to perform the scaffolding work at the chemical plant, a jurisdictional dispute, so the Subcommittee had no authority over the matter and its decision must be vacated.