On behalf of two local IAM unions, Patterson Harkavy has prevailed in federal district court in a case challenging a labor arbitration decision. This case arises from Plaintiff UGL UNICCO’s termination of union member Ronald Corbett. UGL UNICCO provides facilities maintenance services at a tire plant in Wilson, North Carolina, owned by Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire. Corbett was employed by UGL UNICCO and worked at the Bridgestone Plant. Defendants Local 2541 and District 110 are constituent entities of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (“IAM”). The IAM was represented in this case by Mike Okun and Narendra Ghosh.
The union challenged Corbett’s termination and the case was initially decided by an experienced labor arbitrator. Corbett, a 34-year employee, did nothing wrong in getting fired, but was terminated without just cause because of Bridgestone’s unilateral decision. This is commonly known as a persona non grata situation. The arbitrator found that this firing violated the union’s contract with UNICCO, and award Corbett 68 weeks of pay as damages because she could not order Bridgestone to return him to work. UNICCO challenged the arbitrator’s decision in federal court.