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Amalgamated, Transit Union v. Wmata

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

March 30, 2015

LOCAL 1764, AMALGAMATED, TRANSIT UNION, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
WMATA, Defendant.

CORRECTED MEMORANDUM OPINION[1]

PAUL W. GRIMM District Judge.

Plaintiff transit unions have brought this action to compel arbitration against Defendant WMATA. They seek to arbitrate claims that, inter alia, Defendant did not provide the unions with required notice of changes to working conditions that came about as a result of WMATA entering new contracts for certain transit services. Plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment, arguing that the dispute between the parties is subject to arbitration under several employee protective arrangements as well as under the WMATA Compact, all of which have binding arbitration provisions. Defendants have cross-moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Plaintiffs have not shown that the dispute arises under any of the existing employee protective arrangements and that the WMATA Compact does not apply. I find that, although Plaintiffs have not shown that any employee protective arrangement applies, the dispute nevertheless falls under the arbitration provision of the WMATA Compact and, accordingly, I grant summary judgment to Plaintiffs.

I. BACKGROUND

In reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court considers the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmovant, drawing all justifiable inferences in that party's favor. Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557, 585-86 (2009); George & Co., LLC v. Imagination Entm't Ltd., 575 F.3d 383, 391-92 (4th Cir. 2009); Dean v. Martinez, 336 F.Supp.2d 477, 480 (D. Md. 2004). Where, as here, the Court is presented with cross-motions for summary judgment, the facts relevant to each motion must be considered in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Mellen v. Bunting, 327 F.3d 355, 363 (4th Cir. 2003). Unless otherwise stated, this background is composed of undisputed facts. See Ricci, 557 U.S. at 585-86; George & Co., 575 F.3d at 391-92; Dean, 336 F.Supp.2d at 480.

A. WMATA Compact and Employee Protective Arrangements

Defendant Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ("WMATA") IS an instrumentality "of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Maryland, created by legislative compact among those jurisdictions and the United States of America to provide mass transportation services" in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Compl. ¶ 3, ECF No.1; Answer ¶ 3, ECF No. 6; see also WMATA Compact, Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 10-204, §§ 2-4. Plaintiff Local 1764, Amalgamated Transit Union ("Local 1764") is the certified, recognized collective bargaining representative of employees who provide WMATA's MetroAccess service through contracts with MV Transportation, Inc. ("MV") and Veolia Transportation, Inc. ("Veolia"). Compl. ¶ 5, ECF NO.1; Answer ¶ 5, ECF NO.6. Local 689, Amalgamated Transit Union ("Local 689") represents employees who provide WMATA's MetroAccess service through a contract with First Transit. See Certification of Representative, Pl.'s Mem. in Supp. of their Mot. to Compel Arbitration ("Pl.'s Summ. J. Mem.") Ex. K, ECF No. 9-13.[2]

WMATA was established by an interstate compact approved by Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and, as required by U.S. Const. Art. I, § 10, by Congress as well. See Transp. § 10-204, § 86. Section 66(c) of the WMATA Compact provides for the arbitration of labor disputes, as follows:

In case of any labor dispute involving the Authority and such employees where collective bargaining does not result in agreement, the Authority shall submit such dispute to arbitration by a board composed of three persons, one appointed by the Authority, one appointed by the labor organization representing the employees, and a third member to be agreed upon by the labor organization and the authority.... The determination of the majority of the board of arbitration, thus established, shall be final and binding on all matters in dispute.... The term "labor dispute" shall be broadly construed and shall include any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions, or benefits including health and welfare, sick leave, insurance or pension or retirement provisions but not limited thereto, and including any controversy concerning any differences or questions that may arise between the parties including but not limited to the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, the terms to be included in such agreements, and the interpretation or application of such collective bargaining agreements and any grievance that may arise and questions concerning representation.

Transp. § 10-204, § 66.

Among the services provided by WMATA is MetroAccess, "a shared ride transportation service for people who are unable to use fixed-route public transit due to disability." MetroAccess Customer Guide, Pl.'s Summ. J. Mem. Ex. G, ECF No. 9-9. Plaintiffs assert that "substantial Federal Mass. Transit Grant projects helped to purchase the vans, buildings, computers and software, communication equipment, and also to pay for operating costs including fuel, repair parts and equipment, salaries and the like" for MetroAccess, PI.'s Summ. J. Mem. 2, but they provide no evidence to support this assertion. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A).[3] Although WMATA acknowledges that it receives federal funds, it correctly asserts that Plaintiffs have not pointed to any specific federal funding for MetroAccess that is relevant to this case. See Def.'s Mem. of Points and Auths. in Supp. of WMATA's (1) Cross-Mot. for Summ. J. and (2) Opp'n to Pis.' Mot. for Summ. J. and to Compel Arbitration ("Def.'s Cross-Mot. Mem.") 5, ECF No. 10-1.

Pursuant to section 13(c) the Urban Mass. Transit Act of 1964, 49 U.S.C. § 5333, WMATA and Defendants have entered into a number of employee protective arrangements ("EPA"s) with respect to MetroAccess projects. See January 1973 EPA, PIs.' Summ. 1. Mem. Ex. C, ECF No. 9-5; Sept. 12, 2006 EPA, PIs.' Summ. J. Mem. Ex. D, ECF No. 9-6; Sept. 20, 2006 EPA (together with the September 12, 2006 EPA, the "2006 EPAs"), PIs.' Summ. J. Mem. Ex. E, ECF No. 9-7. Each of the EPAs provides for the arbitration of labor disputes related to the specific project covered by that EPA.

The January 1973 EPA covers a "Project" involving "the purchase of D. C. Transit System, Inc. [], W.V.&M. Coach Co. [], AB&W Transit Company [], and W.M.&A. Coach Co. [], three transit garages, 600 new transit buses, a central radio receiving and bus locating facility, and 1800 2-way radios, 200 bus shelters, and miscellaneous equipment." January 1973 EPA 1.

Its arbitration provision provides:

In the event there arises any labor dispute or controversy... with respect to the protection afforded by this agreement, or with respect to the interpretation, application, or enforcement of the provisions of this agreement, ... which cannot be settled by the parties hereto within thirty (30) days after the dispute or controversy arises, it may be submitted at the written request of any such party to a board of arbitration to be selected as hereinafter provided, one arbitrator to be chosen by each interested party.... The decision by majority vote of the arbitration board shall be final and binding, as the decision of the arbitration board.... The term "labor dispute" shall be broadly construed and shall include any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions or benefits including health and welfare, sick leave, insurance or pension or retirement provisions but not limited thereto, and including any controversy concerning any differences or questions that may arise between the parties including but not limited to the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, the terms to be included in such agreements, and ...

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